Covid-19 affected to many sectors. One of which is food products from agricultural and livestock resources due to a pause in the supply chain of trade distribution from producers to consumers. The retardation in the trade chain was because of declining consumers concerning food safety, health reasons, and strict transportation rules. However, online food product sales are snowballing, even though consumers prefer products that have guaranteed health quality standards. Therefore, now is time for entrepreneurs in agriculture and animal husbandry to develop food processing technology to be more durable, healthier, safer, and can be sold instantly to consumers.
Therefore, that topic becomes the main material conversations in the UGM Talks webinar, titled Preparing a New Normality Post-Covid-19 Pandemic with Perspectives on Building Food Security on Tuesday (16/6). The virtual seminar organized by the UGM Academic Study Innovation Center (PIKA) and it presented three speakers namely Prof. Yudi Pranoto as a lecturer in the Faculty of Agricultural Technology (FTP), Parjono Ph.D., as a lecturer in the Faculty of Animal Husbandry, and Dr. Husnain as the Head of the Agricultural Research and Development Center, Ministry of Agriculture.
Yudi Pranoto said that in the current pandemic, it was a test and challenge for farmers, ranchers, and entrepreneurs to make changes in the food processing process. It is because consumers currently prefer food that is more hygienic, healthy, and guaranteed from covid contamination. "Consumers expect food products to be thoroughly guaranteed, especially from the red zone (Covid-19)," he said.
He believed that at the beginning of the pandemic, some regions had difficulty getting food products, so prices rose high on the market. However, there are certain areas where the production is overflowing, and the prices are far more relative to homes. The delays in the food distribution chain due to the tightening of transportation routes are among the causes. However, to avoid the harvest from farmers and ranchers not being damaged quickly due to the distribution chain problem, he expected the need for technological development in food processing.
Meanwhile, Parjono, Ph.D., said that broiler and layer farmers were most affected in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. Because of declining demand from consumers because many markets are closed. In contrast to beef cattle breeders, until last year's Eid, they felt the impact of rising meat prices due to the absence of imported meat policies. "Their difficulty is precisely marketing their beef cattle. Demand is declining, but in terms of distribution, the feed price is starting to increase, so livestock is experiencing a pretty massive impact," he said.
Head of the Agricultural Research and Development Center for Agricultural Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Husnain, said the production of agricultural products remained to run well during the pandemic. However, they confronted obstacles in the distribution of crop sales. "The yields indeed remain stable, but the logistics distribution has hindered," he said.
According to him, the high demand for agricultural food products online is the appearance of opportunity for agrarian entrepreneurs to sell and market their products to consumers. "Technology can help agricultural trade products," he said.
Author: Gusti Grehenson
Photo: Alfian Rizal / Jawa Pos
Translator: Natasa A