Facing the agricultural era 4.0, there are still many Indonesian farmers
who have not utilized digital technology optimally. This is partly due to farmers’ limited capacity and network coverage.
“When we talk about e-agriculture, only agricultural companies and rich farmers can utilize digital technology,” said Professor of the Faculty of Agriculture Unpad Prof. Ganjar Kurnia when speaking at the International Symposium: Rural Landscape and Locality “Sustainable Agriculture in the Middle of Agrarian Change” at Bale Sawala, Unpad Rectorate Building, Jatinangor campus, Monday (11/18).
The limited ability of farmers can be seen from the level of economy and education, age, and digital literacy. It was said by Prof. Ganjar, farmers are more likely to be in the position of information technology recipients. Whereas, a lot of the information source and contents are unreliable.
“Therefore, actually we may need an official source. Then there must be a control body over the source, and there must be a consultative body,” he said
The use of digital technology, including the use of robots, often results in labor reductions. According to Prof. Ganjar, reducing the number of farmers will not be a problem if it is still able to meet the needs of the entire population and export market.
“The reduction in the number of farmers is nothing to worry about as long as it is followed by increasement in business scale and productivity,” said Prof. Ganjar. Productivity can be done through land consolidation by farmers, including in the printing of new paddy fields and former land of land reform. Land consolidation is also believed to be able to optimize the use of e-agriculture.
Besides Prof. Ganjar, the international symposium also presented Prof. Ben White from Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Prof. Kasuke Mizuno from Kyoto University in Japan, Prof. Endriatmo Soetarto from IPB University, Bogor.
The event was opened by the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture Unpad Dr. Ir. H. Sudarjat, M.P. In his remarks, he hoped that the symposium could become a bridge to increase collaboration in solving agricultural problems today and in the future.
Dr. Sudarjat also said that the symposium was held as the opening activity of the 2019 Critical Agrarian School. As many as 20 people had undergone a selection process and were selected to participate in the activity. *
Report by Artanti Hendriyana/am
Translation by Trisha Adelia