Thursday, August 16, 2021, taking place online at Zoom, the Master of Agribusiness Study Program, Faculty of Animal and Agricultural Sciences, Universitas Diponegoro in collaboration with the Semarang Regional Commissariat of Agricultural Economics Association, again presented a webinar discussing the strategic role of agriculture in Indonesia. This webinar is held as an effort to increase public knowledge and strengthen cooperation networks between the various parties involved.
The webinar with the theme “The Strategic Role of Agriculture in Supporting Economic Growth and Food Providers” was opened by the Dean of the Faculty of Animal Husbandry and Agriculture, Diponegoro University, Prof. Dr. Ir. Bambang Waluyo Hadi Eko Prasetiyono, M.S., M.Agr., IPU and moderated by the Chair of the Semarang Regional Commissariat of Agricultural Economics Association, Dr. Ir. Edy Prasetyono, M.S. This webinar presents two speakers who are experts in their fields, namely Prof. Dr. Ir. Bustanul Arifin, M.Sc and Dr. Ir. Arifin Rudiyanto, M.Sc. Prof. Bustanul Arifin is the General Chair of the Indonesian Agricultural Economics Association and a Professor at the University of Lampung. Meanwhile, Dr. Arifin Rudiyanto is the Deputy for Maritime Affairs and Natural Resources at Bappenas. His big name succeeded in attracting the enthusiasm of the community, it was recorded that this webinar was attended by 209 participants consisting of various groups.
In this 3 hour webinar, Prof. Bustanul Arifin said that the pandemic had disrupted the economic system. As a result, agricultural production has not been able to return to normal. The pattern of harvesting and rice production has become increasingly dependent on the season. This condition is commonly found in food crop commodities, such as rice and corn. Meanwhile, different conditions are actually shown for the poultry sector and oil palm plantations. Both of them actually show an increasingly positive trend. Meanwhile, sugar still requires Indonesia to import from other countries. To overcome these various problems, it is necessary to strengthen agricultural ecosystems and the application of a food system approach. The government in the future needs to facilitate technological change from the input side, policy intervention, prepare off-takers in a market-driven approach, create an inclusive partnership concept, and strengthen access to finance and financial literacy.
On the other hand, Dr. Arifin Rudiyanto in his presentation explained that the demographic structure and consumption patterns have become the basis for food and agricultural development planning. Increased incomes and urbanization have led to an increase in the demand for quality food and the availability of nutritious processed foods. The reality of today’s consumption patterns is that people consume fewer vegetables, fruits, tubers, nuts, and animal protein. Meanwhile, from the supply side, conservation or sustainable agriculture is the principle in strengthening domestic production. This is considering the condition of land availability, agricultural irrigation, and the aging of farmers. The pandemic conditions also caused the agricultural sector to experience disruptions in the food supply chain, food distribution system, decreased consumer purchasing power, instability in food prices, and decreased market access to farmers. Given that consumers are increasingly demanding quality food, it is necessary to transform the food and agricultural system to be in line with consumer demand and climate change. The ways that can be done are a sustainable national food system, regionalization of the food system, food estates, digital agriculture, and farmer corporations.
At the end of the event, the Head of the Agribusiness Masters Study Program, Universitas Diponegoro, namely Siwi Gayatri, S.Pt., M.Sc., Ph.D also said that this event was a collaboration to help increase student and community understanding regarding agricultural conditions. In terms of academics and policy actors, it is hoped that participants will be able to understand comprehensively today’s agricultural conditions. It is hoped that in the future the Agribusiness Masters Study Program can help the general public more in relation to adding insight and u