Thursday, 06 October 2022 | 10:49 WIB

Why Millennials are Now Interested in Farming and Agriculture

Some farmers in North Tapanuli are shelling corn using a new machine introduced by Bisukma (left) and Erikson Sianipar, seeing firsthand the community's rice fields that are soon harvesting in Pahae (right) (bisukma)

TARUTUNG, NETRALNEWS.COM - The story of Theodorus Deddy Tri Kuncoro, also known as Deddy, who decided to resign as a bank employee to become an organic vegetable and fruit farmer had gone viral in early 2020.

The decision to leave the establishment with the status of an office employee turned out to lead him to success in later times. This is what made his name famous in Sleman, Yogyakarta.

It turned out that Deddy had strong reasons and awareness when he chose to quit as an employee at a private bank in Yogyakarta in 2016.

"The reason I left the bank was because I felt that the food producers were farmers. This means that the potential for food in Yogyakarta or in Indonesia and even in this world will continue to exist," said Deddy, as seen by Netralnews through the Liputan Kabar Baik Channel of TV One, on May 30, 2021. .

Deddy also wanted to break the image of the people who view farmers as being dirty, poor, lowly, unable to live in prosperity, and other negative perceptions.

"So far, the stereotype is that farmers are poor, their income is low. Initially there was a challenge from the family, but for now they have given full support. Yes, I think being a farmer is cool. Not only cool, but clearly there are benefits for others," he said.

Deddy's success can now be seen from the agricultural products he produces, and he is able to have five employees who always help him in cultivating his agricultural land. The agricultural products from the land include caisim, pokcoy, kale, mustard greens, pagoda, celery, spices, and organic fruits.

He even succeeded in opening a kiosk called "Warung Dodolan Organik". The kiosk does not only sell its own products, it has also succeeded in regularly selling supplies to other organic farmers.

Per day, the kiosk sold an average of 100 kilograms and and fruits reaching 500 kilograms per week.

There is also another interesting story about a young Office Boy (OB) who left the office and instead succeeded in becoming a farmer with an income of IDR15 million per month.

Raga (26) managed to prove that being a farmer is not something to be embarrassed about.

"There was no startup money, as at that time there was in-laws' land that could be worked on. I used to think that working as a farmer was dirty, humid and not, and tiring. Anyway, farming was difficult. Finally, I learned with my parents-in-law to plant onions and grow chilies," Raga explained.

Unexpectedly, from the results of Raga farming, he could earn a lot more money than his previous job as OB. In just two months, Raga was able to generate a minimum of IDR20 million.

"Farming seems difficult for young people today, but I didn't give up. I learned how to grow shallots and chilies properly. From there I got a pretty lucrative income from onion farming," he added, smiling.

Through the CapCapung Youtube Channel, as seen by Netralnews, Sunday (30/5/21), Raga then shared the story of a former office boy who become a successful farmer.

"I used to be unemployed, worked odd jobs. I worked in a private company, so I became an OB for 2 years," he said in the three-minute video.

"Alhamdulillah, I can build a house, or as they say, please my wife and children," Raga added.

Proud to be a Farmer

"Now, being a farmer is cool, guys!" This sentence seems to represent the optimism of the millennial generation's success in the future.

The image of a filthy figure covered in mud as compared to wearing a tie in the office has faded and worn. The opinion that being a farmer is poor and low caste is now eroded and replaced by facts that promise success.

Advances in agricultural science and technology continue to renew all aspects of life, including agriculture.

Plowing machines, planting machines, harvesting machines, crop grinding machines, internet of things (IoT), as well as drones that sprinkle fertilizer and water have given birth to a new culture that is very different from the previous era.

The discovery of quality seeds with new planting techniques resulted in more effective and efficient plantations with multiple yields. Abundant production opens up high export opportunities.

With abundant food sources, people are also spared from the food crisis disaster. Being a farmer supports the community.

Don't forget, all knowledge on farming is open knowledge and can be accessed via the internet, complete with all the tips and tricks that are often shared by agricultural activists, one of which is through a Youtube account.

The road to success for millennials is wide open. The question is how to get there and reach that future.

Farms in North Tapanuli

According to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics in North Tapanuli Regency in 2021, the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) of Tapanuli Regency, North Sumatra, is still dominated by the agricultural, livestock, hunting, and agricultural services sectors, reaching 43.31 percent of the total GRDP.

Business sectors in wholesale and retail trade, car and motorcycle repairs, and construction business followed later at 15.68 percent and 14.14 percent, respectively.

In 2020, the value of GRDP at Current Prices (ADHB) for agriculture, forestry and fisheries business reached IDR3,583.97 billion, while in 2010 it touched IDR2,660.74 billion.

Meanwhile, North Tapanuli agricultural products are dominated by commodities such as rice (paddy rice and upland rice), corn, oranges, pineapple, and coffee, among others.

The rate of economic growth in North Tapanuli slowed from 2.65 percent in 2018 to 2.30 percent in 2020.

Thus, the agricultural sector for the North Tapanuli Regency area in 2020 has a population of 312,758 people, and until now it is still the backbone of the regional economy.

Referring to the same source, it should be noted that in 2020, out of a total of 172,493 people in the workforce, there are still 5,065 workers who have not been taken in by employment.

Encouraging those who have not worked to be interested, want to become farmers, and be successful, wouldn't it be very interesting?

In this context, seriously advancing the agricultural sector in North Tapanuli will be one of the strategic solutions for expanding employment opportunities as well as overcoming potential unemployment.

Bisukma Fully Supports Farmers in North Tapanuli for Success

Born in Hutagalung Tarutung, as a North Tapanuli person, Dr. Erikson Sianipar MM, is currently allocating more and more time to pay attention to his hometown.

Erikson is highly motivated and inspired to be actively involved in making North Tapanuli Regency a main source of food supply in the Sumatra region through various strategies and creative programs in the agricultural sector.

"In addition to the land currently being cultivated by the farmers, North Tapanuli still has an area of ​​'idle land' which reaches around 46,000 hectares. This land has great potential to be processed to boost regional income from the agricultural sector," said Erikson Sianipar to Netralnews, on Sunday, May 30, 2021.

The North Tapanuli Regency Government has carried out many programs and new breakthroughs to turn the area into a food production center, which is also part of the vision that has been set.

"However, to really actualize it, it needs collaboration with all elements through improving the human capitals sector, access to capital, infrastructure development such as access roads to villages, irrigation, internet networks, and also marketing issues," Erikson added.

From 2009 to 2021, the social organization BISUKMA has held various training activities involving no less than 7,000 batches from across generations in North Tapanuli.

The thematic training carried out by Bisukma included the Positive Character Strengthening Program through leadership and entrepreneurship.

It also includes materials for expanding knowledge, literacy, agricultural extension, the use of modern information technology, and mechanization in accordance with the development of the industrial revolution era 4.0.

"The problem in agriculture, especially in North Tapanuli, lies largely in the production, post-harvest, and marketing processes," said Erikson.

According to Erikson, agriculture cannot be seen only from the production side, but also must ensure the success of post-harvest and marketing.

“We have to see agriculture as an industry. Holistic management, namely an upstream to downstream approach, is an effective approach to ensure production capacity, quality, and continuity to maintain the sustainability of agricultural ecosystems," he said.

Indeed, it can be said that the agricultural industry is a very complex industry.

"Therefore, complete and accurate data is needed, including the profiling of each village/area tjat are managed in the Information Technology-based Village Information System.

With the data that you have, it will be easier to plan the development of the village area, procure suitable seeds and fertilizers, plan for the right procurement of mechanization tools, develop farmer capabilities, develop supervision capabilities of Field Extension Officers (PPL), and build cooperation with buyers and investors who are interested in building a factory that aims to add value to each commodity," Erikson explained.

Erikson continued that by understanding and managing all activities and events in the upstream to downstream cycles through mechanization and the use of information technology (agricultural digitization), it will bring farmers to be smarter and productive at work, and provide more certainty and business sustainability in agriculture.

"In realizing it, of course, cooperation with the government, businessmen, the community, the media, and academia is needed. To them and all the farmers of North Tapanuli, I say this greeting: BISUKMA ACCELERATE CHANGE," he added.