Jakarta, 4 January 2021 -- National food security is one of the main focuses of President Joko Widodo's government. The Covid-19 pandemic, whose expiration date is not yet known, has increasingly encouraged the government to organize agricultural programs for national food security. One form of support from PT Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk (BNI) is BNI Smartfarming program.
Through the program, BNI continues to collaborate with various associated parties such as the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Communication and Information, the Ministry of Villages for Disadvantaged Areas and Transmigration, PT Telkom Indonesia (Persero) Tbk. In fact, BNI has also involved agritechnology startups, one of which is PT Mitra Sejahtera Membangun Bangsa (PT MSMB) in initiating the Movement Towards Agriculture 4.0 as an activity program to help farmers improve their cultivation results.
In Jakarta, Monday, (4 January 2021), BNI’s MSMEs Business Director, Muhammad Iqbal said, BNI smartfarming program emphasizes added value to BNI’s role in ensuring that farmers get access to cheap & easy financing, accompanied by assistance using digital agricultural technology during the cultivation process. The BNI smartfarming program that is presented has been prepared so that from the outset agricultural working capital will receive appropriate agricultural recommendations, precise fertilization systems, to pest management and harvesting.
On the other hand, banks also utilize smartfarming through the dashboard of a farming application for onfarm monitoring, agricultural assistance, which aims to ensure better bank credit quality and financial inclusion in the agricultural sector.
"Entering the harvest season, a feature in the application has been prepared to accommodate farmers' products being absorbed by BNI partner offtakers. By placing sensors on the land, the condition of the plants from before, during planting, maintenance, to harvesting can be monitored in real time. Recommendations obtained from a sensor that can cover an area of up to 100 hectares will be connected to an application embedded in the farmer's android-based gadget so that land conditions, especially those related to rainfall, temperature, soil conditions (Ph), and fertilizer requirements can be easily detected," said Iqbal.
In terms of cost efficiency, the recommendation of the sensor embedded in the application in the hands of the farmer will not only make it easier for farmers, but also provide the best agricultural pattern including the intensity of fertilizer use. Thus, farmers will be more productive, more efficient and effective, have easy access to the market for their land / fields, and eventually become professional and qualified farmers. With an increased volume of yields and better quality of yields, the welfare of farmers will be more secure
Farmers Greatly Helped
During 2020, several smartfarming program activities were implemented in 6 (six) points in 5 (five) provinces in Indonesia and the benefits have been felt by farmers.
One of the farmers from Situbondo, Fero Kamahendra said that in his area farmers have felt positive benefits from the presence of this smartfarming program, where apart from obtaining capital support for farming, farmers in the area have been supported by the sensor, BNI really pays attention to the agricultural community in the area.
In a separate location, Pujiono, a farmer in Malang said that "with the presence of BNI in our area, the enthusiasm of farmers has increased, even the previously less productive idle land has been used as green land for growing food crops and horticulture”.
Ribut, another farmer in Banyuwangi, said that "with this kind of support, it is easier for farmers to get the most accurate agricultural recommendations and the results can be seen at harvest time, where during our last harvest the volume and quality of the harvest increased".
Full Support of BNI
Iqbal also said, in various activities BNI also provides Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) assistance in the form of Soils and Weather Sensors which are used to record land conditions in real time and predict weather and are expected to be able to provide more measurable and precise agricultural data so that it can help farmers improve efficiency and increase productivity.
BNI smartfarming synergizes various programs and products such as lakupandai agent (Agen46), distribution of digital KUR Tani with BNI Move Agriculture, provision of BNI farmer cards to encourage cashless transactions, and digitization of precision agricultural cultivation and connecting farmers with offtakers.
As a continuation of the series of activities, BNI also held various online webinars with the aim of providing information to various stakeholders regarding the optimization of BNI Smartfarming program. BNI's commitment to developing smartfarming will continue to be optimized in 2021, so that it is expected to improve the welfare of KUR recipient farmers in the agricultural sector. This step is also expected to increase BNI's KUR distribution portfolio. Until now, BNI has distributed KUR to the agricultural sector in the amount of Rp.7.21 trillion and reached more than 285 thousand farmers throughout Indonesia.
“In the future the smartfarming program will be developed through a digital agricultural ecosystem so that the distribution of KUR can be more expansive to touch farmers throughout the archipelago so that it can encourage national food security programs," concluded Iqbal.
For more information, please contact:
BNI Corporate Secretary