The Palawija Forum article reports on the implementation of ICTs to support agriculture in Indonesia. Agriculture is a key sector which accounts for 31.7% the country’s labour-force.
Therefore, the investment in ICT in the agricultural sector supports the economic development and poverty reduction as well as a strategy for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The article notes that ICTs play a role in crop production within the following stages, (i) pre-cultivation; (ii) crop cultivation and harvesting; and (iii) post-harvest. This is particularly important for Indonesian farmers; for they are 44,000 extension workers for 72,000 potential agricultural villages against an ideal situation of 1 extension worker per village.
The Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture received support from the World Bank in 2007-2013 to develop a farmer empowerment project – Farmer Empowerment through Agricultural Technology and Information (FEATI). The potential for ICTs usage is high in Indonesia as statistics show an increasing number of cell phone subscriptions.
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After the investment of the FEATI, the following lessons were learnt:-
- ICT can be used as a strategic tool to support agricultural development at each stage of the farming life cycle.
- ICT can help in early warning of pests and disease outbreaks, and providing information on cropping calenders and providing information of food stocks.
- Capacity-building for extension workers in utilising the ICT in agriculture is needed
Read this article to learn more on FEATI