Community Empowerment
Farmer Wellbeing Means Food Security
Kamis 6 Desember 2018

First published : 4 May 2018


On 27-28 April 2018, at least 40 farmers in the slopes of Mount Merapi from 3 districts got together in Surakarta, Central Java to participate in the education and training activity held by Business Watch Indonesia. In the training, farmers were encouraged to intensively apply environmental-friendly agricultural practices and start to develop the markets for their products.


In the occasion, Business Watch Indonesia stated that farmers should be aware that they play very major roles in life, especially in food provision. The number of the global population has increased at an alarming level.  Report by the Social and Economic Affairs Division of the Population Department of the UN in 2017 estimated that the world’s population reached almost 7.6 billion people, which was estimated to hit to 8.6 billion people in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050, and 11.2 billion in 2100. With such growth, the land areas supposed to be used for agriculture have to compete with the uses for providing settlement for humans.


The rapid growth of the world’s population has led to an imbalance between the level of consumption and the level of food production. The level of production of some commodities has even been continuously on the decline. However, the decline has not solely been attributed to the land factor only. Poor agricultural management system, such as excessive use of chemical fertilisers, also contributes to the decline in productivity. Imprudent use of chemical fertilisers triggers a decline in soil’s fertility and causes the land to be unproductive. In this light, the world will finally suffer from a crisis in food provision. Countries will compete with each other to meet the need of their people.


Indonesia will become one of the world’s most-targeted countries for its abundant natural resources, including its fertile soils. Soil fertility coupled with tropical climate has provided Indonesia with water reserves and light intensity for plants to photosynthesise. However, farmers’ lack of knowledge has led to bad agricultural practices that are harmful to the environment and can reduce soil fertility. It is a general practice for farmers to use chemical fertilisers to instantly increase production.


In addition to practising good and environmentally-sound agricultural practices, farmers would also need support in marketing their products. Currently, the chain for marketing or distribution of products is excessively long. The long chain of distribution has made an impact on farmers’ wellbeing; farmers do not have good bargaining position and accordingly often have to accept the low price that the collectors have set. Despite the low prices at farmer gate’s level, the prices at the consumer’s level are higher since each link of the marketing chain would profit from the sale of agricultural products. This has been one of the reasons why farmers find it difficult to sell their products at decent prices. Therefore, it is necessary to simplify the distribution channel between farmers and consumers to allow farmers to get decent income and have better wellbeing, and finally to secure food production for the community.