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KSP Supports Stimulus For Farmers As Agriculture Showcases Growth Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

JAKARTA - The Executive Office of the President (KSP) has vowed to defend various programs and stimulus for the agriculture sector as it managed to be a buttress against COVID-19 pandemic’s economic fallout in Indonesia.

The Deputy Chief of Staff for Economy Dr Panutan Sulendrakusuma revealed that agricultural export has grown to 13,39 percent and valued up to US$1,62 billion in the first five months of this year. The figure is higher in comparison to last year’s US$1,42 billion of the same period.

In addition, the agriculture sector is also included as one of the main five business sectors that contribute to 64,13 percent of the country’s current economy.

“Out of the five sectors, the Indonesian agriculture has managed to grow 2,95 percent year-on-year (yoy) and it has emerged to cushion the country’s economy while the other sectors suffered from the pandemic’s fallout,” Panutan said on Thursday (1/7).

Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data showed that the Indonesian non-oil and gas exports from January to May have increased 30,53 percent, valued up to US$66,7 billion.

The figure showed that it has increased from last year’s US$51,09 billion. The number also contributed to 79,42 percent of the overall exports.

“The agriculture sector has contributed 1,93 percent to the overall exports. Meaning, the agriculture exports must be enhanced and KSP will help to provide solutions to any problems faced by the agriculture sector,” he added.

KSP would continue to support farmers, agriculture production, distributions and consumption through Monitoring and Evaluation System (SISMONEV 2.0) as well as Strategic Issues Database System (DISTRA), Panutan went on to say.

.The Office also stated its commitment to reinforce the Food Estate program that is expected to bolster the nation’s food security as mandated by President Joko Widodo.

“KSP will guard the economic stimulus aimed to strengthen food security and to boost farmers’ welfare through labor-intensive projects in agriculture and fishery, interest subsidy, revolving fund scheme and so forth,” Panutan said.

As the pandemic situation has prompted people’s movement from the metropolitan cities to rural villages, the agriculture sector has also gained more recognition.

It is shown from the increased numbers of workforce in the sector amid the prolonged pandemic crisis, Panutan explained.

The Agriculture Ministry also came up with an initiative to promote the Indonesian agriculture through the Young Agriculture Representative (DPA) program as jobs in the sector started to gain popularity among youngsters.

The program, which is currently aiming for more than 1,000 representatives, showcases modern alternatives for agricultural marketing such as using social media and digital advertising to sell agricultural products.

Some progressive digital platforms and marketplaces are also more gaining youth attention towards the agriculture sector.

“When internet access and technology are being used as tools to enhance the marketing, the people will surely get much bigger benefits,” he said.