Since 2020, UGM has been researching the development of area-based organic agriculture in Sleman Regency, Yogyakarta.
This research has produced several outcomes, including a model of sustainable agricultural governance and a Sleman Regent Regulation on the Development of Area-Based Organic Agriculture.
The university collaborated with the Sleman Regency Agriculture Office in this research project and received funding from the Productive Innovative Research (RISPRO) from the Ministry of Finance’s LPDP.
This research, titled “Model of Sustainable Agricultural Governance in Supporting the Availability of Healthy Food and Farmer Welfare Through the Development of Area-Based Organic Farming,” is part of UGM’s commitment to realizing sustainable organic agriculture.
“Many outcomes have been generated through this research. UGM expresses gratitude to the Sleman Regent and LPDP for supporting this research to benefit the community,” stated Professor Wening Udasmoro, UGM Vice-Rector for Education and Teaching, on Wednesday (October 18) during the document handover and the launch of Sleman Regent Regulation No. 62 of 2023.
The vice-rector explained that UGM’s research was motivated by the importance of providing healthy food. Farmers’ use of chemical pesticides is still quite extensive, posing a health risk to consumers of agricultural products.
Therefore, this research focused on the production of healthy food, the improvement of farmer welfare, and sustainable agricultural systems.
One of the outcomes, the Sleman Regent Regulation, according to Professor Udasmoro, is evidence that research results offer direct benefits.
“We also seek support from the Sleman Regency and LPDP so that in the future, various research results are not merely academic texts but can be used by the community,” she added.
LPDP Research Facility Director Wisnu Sardjono Soenarso appreciated UGM and Sleman Regency’s joint hands in producing a regent regulation that aligns with the Ministry of Home Affairs directive for regional administrations to create research-based policies.
Since 2013, LPDP has supported research activities that have resulted in 13 research-based policies in various regions of Indonesia, including the Sleman Regency.
“We appreciate that Sleman Regency can create research-based policies and thanked UGM researchers who have produced research that benefits academia and contributes to the nation’s progress,” Soenarso explained.
Sleman Regent Kustini Sri Purnomo expressed gratitude to UGM for their support of Sleman’s development and to LPDP for their funding.
“Sleman has good human resources and fertile agriculture, but without research, they may not be optimal for good agriculture in Sleman,” she explained, emphasizing their readiness to accommodate UGM research for translation in Sleman.
The organic agriculture research team leader, Professor Irham, mentioned that the research began with developing a farm record-keeping application named REKTANIGAMA. With the app, farmers can monitor all their farming activities over time via mobile phones.
Professor Irham mentioned that, to date, no specific area or zone for organic farming has been supported by government regulations and the implementation of an actual, factual, and valid farm data system.
Additionally, there is yet to be an available model for governing the development of organic farming areas. Hence, he and his team researched organic farming areas to improve farming efficiency and the sustainability of organic farming.
Consequently, land and environmental quality are improved, supporting the availability of healthy food and prosperous farmers.
“The study indicates that organic farming occurs in many scattered farmer groups, with relatively small areas, reducing farming efficiency and increasing certification costs for each organic farmer group,” he explained.
Based on this fact, Professor Irham continued, establishing organic farming areas is urgently needed.
Extensive discussions with the Sleman Office of Agriculture, Food, and Fisheries confirmed the need for a regulatory scheme to serve as the basis for establishing organic farming areas in Sleman.
He elaborated that his team focused on academic study drafting as the basis for the design of the regent regulation and the preparation of a model for governing area-based organic agriculture as proposed. The scope includes food crops, which include horticulture.
In the long term, these activities require follow-up actions. The implementation of governance models and the application of the regent regulation concerning organic area development must be taken seriously and carefully to achieve the grand goal of farmer prosperity.
The organic farming area is also determined as part of Sleman Regency’s spatial planning.
With the designation of an organic agricultural zone or area supported by proper policies and regulations, the organic farming system in Sleman Regency is expected to achieve high economic efficiency.
Moreover, combining this regulation with an information technology-based farm record-keeping system ensures farming certainty and the availability of healthy food sustainably.
“Through this regent regulation, it is hoped that organic farming in Sleman Regency can be developed more directly and swiftly and achieve its main goal, which is the improved prosperity of farmers in the regency,” Professor Irham expressed.
“We hope that these achievements can also inspire other regions to promote area-based organic farming enthusiastically.”