Learning from the Covid-19 pandemic which has suppressed Bali’s economic growth to its lowest point, Deputy Governor of Bali Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati (Cok Ace) encouraged efforts to strengthen the agricultural sector. This was revealed when he was one of the speakers at the 2nd Bali Nusra Transformation Webinar “Balinusra Towards Agriculture 4.0” which was held by Bank Indonesia Representatives for the Bali Province, online on Tuesday (14/9).
According to Deputy Governor Cok Ace, Bali experienced the most severe economic contraction compared to other provinces in Indonesia because it is highly dependent on the tourism sector. He said, 54 percent of GRDP came from this sector so that during the pandemic, Bali lost foreign exchange up to Rp. 9.7 trillion every month. “Bali is in dire straits because of its dependence on the tourism sector. While other areas are more resistant,” he said. According to Cok Ace, this needs to be used as an evaluation material to boost alternative sectors other than tourism.
One of the alternative sectors which according to him should be worked on more seriously is agriculture. To stimulate the agricultural sector, he encourages the use of technology. “The application of technology in agriculture is very important to attract the interest of the younger generation to pursue this sector,” he added. Thus, in the future he hopes that the agricultural sector can contribute as much as tourism. “If these two sectors can be used as the locomotive of the economy in a balanced way, I believe we will not face a downturn like this,” he said.
For this reason, the Deputy Governor of Cok Ace, the Balinese community, has to return to agriculture and revive local crafts in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The hope is to boost economic activity which is currently under pressure.
In fact, according to him, Bali initially lived in the agrarian sector then switched to the tourism sector, and accidentally jumped over the (secondary) manufacturing industry sector. The contribution of the tourism sector before the pandemic reached 68 percent, while the agriculture and processing sectors ranged from 15 to 17 percent.
“Therefore, several steps that can now be taken are returning to the agricultural, marine, fishery sectors, and generating local crafts as a livelihood to support the people’s economy,” he said.
According to the man who is usually called Cok Ace, the lessons that can be learned at this time, one of which is to return to the agricultural product processing sector, which includes picking the fruits that are planted, for example oranges and salak, each of which can be processed into juice which is then processed into juice. can be sold to local people.
In addition, Cok Ace also encourages Balinese people to use digital transactions in buying and selling products. “That way the economic turnover will also grow again,” he said.
To support the improvement of local agricultural products, as a legal umbrella, the Bali Provincial Government has also issued Bali Governor Regulation (Pergub) no. sell their crops. With this legal umbrella, Deputy Governor Cok Ace hopes that the community will be more enthusiastic in pursuing the world of agriculture so that the agricultural and tourism sectors become an inseparable and mutually reinforcing chain.
Previously, the Head of the Bank Indonesia Representative Office for the Province of Bali, Trisno Nugroho, said that from the second quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021, Balinusra’s economy contracted. However, in the second quarter of 2021, it began to show a recovery by growing 3.70% (yoy). When viewed spatially, the recovery time differs between each province. The economy of NTT has started to grow positively since the first quarter of 2021, while the economy of NTB and Bali has only grown positively in the second quarter of 2021.
We need to continue to maintain and encourage this recovery momentum by exploring potential sources of economic growth. To see this potential, we need to look at the economic structure of each province in Balinusra. In general, there are similarities where the agricultural business field (LU) is one of the pillars of the economy in each province.
In NTB and NTT, the agricultural sector is the main contributor to the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GDP) with a share of 23% and 29% respectively in 2020. Meanwhile, in Bali, the agricultural sector has a 15% share of the GRDP in 2020, the second largest after the business field of providing accommodation and food and drink. When viewed in more detail, Balinusra’s GRDP structure for agricultural business is mainly supported by livestock with a share of 28%, food crops (26%), fisheries (24%), Horticultural Crops (11%) and Plantation Plants (8%). The high contribution of the agricultural sector to Balinusra’s economy shows that the agricultural sector has the potential to drive Balinusra’s economic recovery.
The importance of the role of the agricultural sector in Balinusra’s economy is also reflected in the population working in the agricultural sector. In Bali, 23% of the population works in the agricultural sector, while in NTB and NTT, workers in the agricultural sector are 35% and 54%, respectively. With this structure, in total, 54% of Balinusra workers work in the agricultural sector.
We can also see the potential of Balinusra’s agricultural sector from the export side. In 2020, Balinusra’s exports of agricultural and marine commodities had a share of 13.5% of Balinusra’s total exports, a decrease compared to the previous year which reached 18.9%. Various agricultural and marine commodities that support Balinusra’s exports include marine commodities such as crabs, shrimp, tuna, pearls, seaweed and horticultural and plantation commodities such as medicinal plants, fruits, vanilla, coffee, cocoa.
With the existence of Balinusra’s leading agricultural commodities, the potential for developing the agricultural sector in Balinusra in the future is still very large. However, a number of challenges still remain. First, in terms of production factors, production technology is still low with limited human resource capacity so that productivity is still low and the added value of commodity processing is also limited.
Second, from the institutional side, the institutional role of farmer groups is still not optimal, both from the upstream side such as monitoring good farming practices (Good Agriculture Practices) and from the upstream side such as implementing the corporatization of farmers to achieve economies of scale, obtain financing, and a more certain market. . Third, challenges related to foreign trade cooperation (exports) which include non-tariff barriers such as compliance with international market requirements/certifications as well as tariff barriers imposed by market countries.
Regarding the challenges above, especially related to increasing productivity and added value, it is necessary to transform agriculture towards agricultural digitalization (agriculture 4.0). The application of agricultural digitization on the upstream side is expected to change the way of farming, the behavior of farmers, and the way in which inputs are provided. Then, digitizing the downstream side will expand market coverage, price efficiency, and product sales methods.
We have started to see this agricultural digitization effort in Indonesia through various models and innovations such as vertical farming, precision farming, and smart farming. In the Balinusra region itself, the application of Agriculture 4.0 is still limited. In a study conducted by the Bali Province Representative Office of Bank Indonesia in 2020, the implementation of digital agriculture in Balinusra is still dominated by the downstream side, namely the use of e-commerce for product sales.
In addition, the implementation of digital agriculture has not been carried out end-to-end. When viewed spatially, the level of implementation of agriculture 4.0 in Bali is relatively higher than NTB and NTT. This is influenced by structural factors such as the availability of infrastructure and human resources.
Besides Deputy Governor Cok Ace, a number of resource persons were also presented on the occasion including BI Deputy Governor Rosmaya Hadi, NTB Governor Zulkieflimansyah, NTT Governor Viktor Bungtilu Laiskodat, Deputy for Maritime Affairs and Natural Resources of the Ministry of National Development Planning/Bappenas Arifin Rudyanto and Professor of IPB, Prof. Muhammad Firdaus.(BTN/ery)