The Community Engagement Team of Unpad Developed an Integrated Farmer Cluster in Kuningan
[unpad.ac.id, 11/22/2018] The community engagement team of Unpad in collaboration with the Indonesian Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education; Kuningan Regency Government; Cirebon representative of Bank Indonesia; and Kuningan University developed an integrated farmer cluster in the village Japara, Kuningan.
The team involved consisted of Dr. Tomy Perdana, Prof. Ganjar Kurnia, Ir. Sondi Kuswaryan, M.Sc., Mahra Arari, M.T., and Dr. Lili Kamelia Fitriani. The team implemented an integrated farmer cluster concept that is a synthesis of the agricultural cluster approach and ecological agriculture. This was stated in the release received by Unpad PR.
Dr. Tomy explained, the agricultural cluster emphasizes the geographical proximity and stakeholder networks in an agribusiness supply chain. This effort is seen as able to overcome the weaknesses of small and medium enterprises in rural areas in responding to globalization and increasing competitiveness.
While ecological agriculture is a new choice for realizing sustainable competitive advantage. This agricultural model emphasizes the continued use of internal resources rather than external resources. These internal resources include ecological, economic and social aspects.
Integrated farmer clusters in Japara Village integrated a variety of agricultural and livestock businesses, downstreaming agriculture, and tourism. The development of this cluster involved two farmer groups (poktan) in the village, namely the Poktan Gemah Ripah 2 and the Gapoktan (combined farmer group) Gimah Ripah.
“The agricultural business includes rice and vegetables (onions and red chili). While the livestock business is sheep, cattle, and fisheries. “The agricultural downstream is in the form of milling and marketing of rice,” said Dr. Tomy.
He explained, the development of integrated farmer clusters in Japara Village had been carried out from 2016 to 2018. This activity was the implementation of the National Multi-Year Community Engagement Competition Grant “Science and Technology for the Higher Education Region – Corporate Social Responsibility (IbW PT-Pemda-CSR ) Kemenristekdikti and assisted by Kuningan Regency Government and Bank Indonesia Cirebon Representative Office.
“Financing also comes from the contribution of Gemah Ripah 2 Poktan and Japara Village Government,” he continued.
For three years, a number of activities have been carried out. The activities included the development of seeds for shallot commodities, development of nurseries for red chilli commodities, introduction and training of rice mina and organic rice systems, to training and mentoring of Padjadjaran sheep farming demonstration plots, a type of sheep from Unpad lecturers’ research.
Furthermore, training and assistance in the collective system development for vegetable production and marketing of sheep and livestock, training and assistance in the application of silage animal feed technology, training in the application of biogas technology, training and assistance in the production of organic fertilizers from livestock and waste, introduction and training in fish farming catfish, male tilapia and nilem, training in developing access to vegetable markets, rice, sheep and fish.
The team also provided assistance for agricultural downstreaming (rice milling), development of access to finance to banks, health and environmental sanitation counseling, and the implementation of integrated farmer-based agro-tourism.
Dr. Tomy assessed that the integrated farmer cluster development program had succeeded in realizing the synergy of various rural economic development programs involving various stakeholders.
“Other successes are increasing added value and sustainability of rural economies through the integration of plant and animal-based businesses, agricultural research, utilization of internal resources, and strengthening of social networks and businesses. All of these successes lead to an increase in income and competitiveness of rural farmers, “he concluded. *
Release / am | Translated by dfa