Townhall Muda Series

Eps. 4 Townhall Muda: The Potential of Local Food Resilience and Regeneration of the Agricultural Workforce

In Temanggung's bustling agricultural hub, the Townhall Muda Temanggung forum revealed a narrative of challenges and opportunities, emphasizing the need to revitalize the aging farming population, rekindle youth interest, and secure robust government support.
In the agricultural hub of Indonesia, Temanggung Regency, a pressing concern has taken center stage—the imperative need for the rejuvenation of young farmers. Recognizing this urgency, the Pijar Foundation, in collaboration with the National Administration Institute of the Republic of Indonesia (LAN RI) and Kalandra Nusantara, organized the collaborative Townhall Muda Temanggung forum on May 19, 2023, at the vibrant Pasar Papringan. This event, attended by over 70 participants, brought together key stakeholders from the agriculture and youth sectors in Temanggung.

Themed around "Food Resilience and Regeneration of Agricultural Players in Temanggung Regency: Challenges and Opportunities," the forum delved into three crucial sub-themes. Discussions illuminated Temanggung Regency's natural abundance, focusing on its fertile farmland and favorable climate, with key agricultural commodities like rice, corn, and vegetables identified as cornerstones contributing to the region's agricultural potential.

The Department of Food Security, Agriculture, and Fisheries of Temanggung Regency reported that in 2022, there were approximately 100,000 farmers, with a significant 60% being above 50 years old. Supporting this data, the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) revealed that Temanggung's agricultural land area in 2022 spanned about 50,000 hectares, with 60% dedicated to food crops. Furthermore, the Ministry of Agriculture provided insights into the production of rice (400,000 tons) and corn (approximately 100,000 tons). Addressing the critical sub-theme of post-harvest processing efforts, the forum underscored the need to enhance the added value of agricultural products, emphasizing challenges like inadequate facilities and technology that demand urgent comprehensive solutions.

In addressing the sub-theme of the Regeneration of Young Farmers, discussions brought attention to obstacles hindering the cultivation of a new generation of farmers. Factors such as waning interest among the younger generation in agriculture and insufficient government support took center stage.

As the forum concluded, a unanimous consensus emerged—regenerating young farmers stands as the primary challenge for Temanggung Regency's agricultural sector. Proposed measures include sparking the younger generation's interest in agriculture, improving the quality of agricultural education and training, and securing comprehensive government support, both financial and non-financial.

In the pursuit of enhancing the agricultural sector's competitiveness, a resounding call was made to focus on product quality and pricing. The integration of technological applications and innovations in agricultural production emerged as non-negotiable components to achieve this overarching goal.

In the heart of Temanggung, where fertile lands meet agricultural heritage, the commitment to cultivating tomorrow's farmers resonates. The journey toward sustainability unfolds as stakeholders join hands, echoing the sentiment that nurturing young farmers today is the key to a thriving agricultural legacy tomorrow.
This article was written by Gabriella Anindyacitta S. B.
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