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Minister of Agriculture Asks Young Generation to Adopt IoT and Build Startups

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Minister of Agriculture, Syahrul Yasin Limpo is committed to strengthening Indonesian agriculture and increasing its competitiveness, especially in competing with countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Korea. He said it was time for Indonesian agriculture to leave traditional practices and use modern equipment.

“Now farmers should have started using modern equipment. Thus, farming becomes more effective and efficient. And startup will be an important part of the future. If you are not capable of digital life, then just wait for your death,” Syahrul said while giving a public lecture in Makassar recently.

Syahrul told that when he was a camat (district chief), he encouraged farmers to use a tractor. Once he became a regent, farmers use hand tractors. Now as a minister, it is time to leave all of these. There is already such a thing called the Internet of Things (IoT).

Nowadays, agricultural equipment can operate automatically thanks to IoT. Technology has made everything easier in the agriculture sector. However, to succeed in agricultural development, Syahrul said that modern equipment was not enough. He also mentioned that agricultural practitioners must have good adaptability.

Syahrul: Let’s Present the Character of Bugis’ Work Ethic to Achieve Success

With 25 years of experience as a regional leader in South Sulawesi, Syahrul also invited students from Makassar University to implement the work ethic of the Bugis tribe to achieve success. “Let’s resents the character of the work ethic of the Bugis,” he said.

“Only sweaty people can get grace from God. Once the screen is developed we are hard to abstain. If waves facing you, face them,” he continued. He added that commitment and enthusiasm to continue learning are the most important keys to success.

Learning activities are not limited to campus, but also through networking. “From now on, build a network. Don’t sleep before you have a good conversation. Your credit is used to read good articles. Open links that can provide good insight,” he explained.

He also encouraged students to make it a habit to talk across villages. “If you talk to people from the same village, then your insight will only be the same,” he said. On this occasion, he also encouraged students to build startups and make Indonesian agriculture better.

“We shouldn’t be losing to other countries like Malaysia. We don’t want to lose to Singapore or Thailand. We don’t want to lose to Korea as well. This is our shared responsibility. Tomorrow it will be better if we get stronger working day this,” he concluded.

The Presence of Agriculture Startups in Indonesia

Meanwhile, the presence of startups which are running in the agriculture sector seems to more interesting nowadays. Several startups have shown the capacity to become the market leader in the country. PT Mitra Sejahtera Membangun Bangsa (MSMB) is one of the good examples.

This agri-tech startup continued to show its commitment to helping Indonesian farmers. Currently, this startup focuses on the technology-based agribusiness sector 4.0. In its business, the startup offers a solution for agriculture through RiTx, fisheries through FisTx, and animal husbandry through LiTx.

Furthermore, there is also TaniFund which is known to be a fin-tech startup specializing in the agriculture sector. Currently, this startup aimed to disburse loans of IDR 160 billion until the end of 2019. He loans are channeled to farmer groups from various kinds of cultivation to animal husbandry throughout Indonesia.

“Up to now there have been around 75 farmer groups that have received credit,” TaniFund CEO and CO-Founder, Ivan Arie Sustiawan, said. Ivan stated that the funds channeled nowadays had reached more than IDR 75 billion. It shows that the presence of startups has been welcomed well by Indonesian farmers.

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