#Asia In Indonesia, startups and President team up to improve farmers’ life

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo launched five apps to help farmers cut middlemen, get free consultation

Field

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, accompanied by Minister of Communications and Informatics Rudiantara, today launched five apps especially created to improve the lives of farmers in the country during an event in the village of Brebes, Central Java.

The government is working together with two Indonesian startups and a developer community to produce these Android-based apps.

The startups involved are 8villages (producing Petani app), TaniHub (producing TaniHub app), and developer community Code4Nation (producing LimaKilo and PantauHarga apps).

The initiative aims to shorten food distribution chain by utilising e-commerce platforms to help farmers connect directly to their consumers, cutting off the role of middlemen.

One of the apps, Petani, also includes free, SMS-based consultation feature for farmers.

The government also launched Nurbaya Initiative, a programme that helps farmers and related small businesses set up online shopping platform and distributes free domain for them.

Also Read: ‘Collaboration is the new sexy’: CI Agriculture Founder

Apart from insufficient Internet infrastructure, the programme will meet several challenges in its implementation.

Minister Rudiantara admits that it will not be easy for farmers, who have not been exposed to digital technology, to convert into using smartphone and mobile apps.

“Socialisation is the key issue [here], which is why [during the socialisation process] we are going to target not only farmers, but also their families. Farmers’ children tend to be more technologically aware, even if it is just for SMS,” he said as quoted by Kompas Tekno.

He also stated that the government will revise and relive the “farmers’ discussion forum” programme as pioneered by the New Order regime.

Apart from the forementioned startups, Indonesian startup that is working on cutting off middlemen from farmers is agribusiness e-commerce platform Sikumis.

There is also CI Agriculture which provides integrated device and software solutions to help farmers predict land productivity through data provided by satellite imaging and sensors.

Image Credit: Levi Morsy on Unsplash.com

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