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Youthful Vanguard: Regy Mahardika's Journey in Assisting Rural Communities with Agricultural Practices & Financial Literacy

The pivotal role of Indonesia's agricultural sector in national food production is facing a significant challenge—declining interest among the younger generation to pursue careers in agriculture. In 2021, there was a decline in the percentage of young people working in the agricultural sector, dropping from 29.18% in 2011 to 19.18%. In 2018, there were only 885,077 producers under 25 in Indonesia. This has led to Indonesia being ranked sixth in Southeast Asia for having the highest proportion of agricultural workers, reaching 29.8% in 2020, as the ASEAN Statistics Division reported (Data Indonesia, 2022).


It appears that the younger demographic is showing reduced enthusiasm for engaging in professions within the agricultural sector. Numerous factors contribute to this decline, including limited prospects for career advancement, perceptions of farming as overly risky, and discouragement due to the perception of low income (CNBC Indonesia, 2022). The waning interest in agriculture among the youth extends beyond individual preferences, posing substantial repercussions for Indonesia's crucial agricultural domain.


Encouraging the younger generation to take an interest in agricultural careers is imperative, as their fresh perspectives, innovations, and solutions are vital for the industry's continued success. Addressing this challenge requires exploring ways to inspire and engage the youth in pursuing careers in agriculture. Meet Regy Mahardika, a Field Agent who works with us to support clients' businesses based in Aceh. In a time when there is a decline in the younger generation's interest in pursuing careers in the agricultural industry, Regy is dedicated to enhancing sustainable agriculture practices for producers as one of our boots-on-the-ground solutions to assist businesses in achieving a transparent and resilient supply chain. Regy's understanding of the vital role of agriculture has driven his passion for the industry since his college days. As a field agent responsible for training and coaching, Regy's role is to guide producers on good agricultural practices and bridge the technology adoption gap. This aligns with our mission to digitize agribusinesses and assist producers in transitioning to sustainable production and traceable sourcing.


Regy's steadfast commitment has produced remarkable outcomes, assisting more than 900 producers across three sub-districts and 20 villages in Subussalam, South Aceh. However, behind the scenes of his success, Regy has faced the challenges inherent in the field while striving to advance sustainable agriculture. In Subulussalam, numerous local producers operate with limited awareness about farming practices, and some have adopted habits involving excessive fertilizer and pesticide use, resulting in environmental degradation and posing a threat to lead producers.

“In Subulusalam, a considerable proportion of producers lacked adequate guidance. The absence of explicit instructions from experts or organizations led to subpar yields, leaving these producers without the necessary knowledge to care for their trees effectively. As on-the-ground field agents, we underscore the adverse effects of this guidance deficit on overall farm productivity. We actively work to assist producers in acquiring a better knowledge of Good Agriculture Practices (GAP), thereby aiding businesses in fortifying their resilient supply chains,” said Regy.
Regy Mahardika on coaching session with palm oil producers -Koltiva.com

As a young generation, Regy boldly tackled these challenges by introducing and implementing Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in the fields to the producers. Initially met with only modest interest, the producers gradually embraced GAP methods, thanks to Regy's steadfast dedication that included active community engagement and relationship-building. This shift stands as a testament to the powerful impact of education and community involvement in enhancing agricultural practices. Today, producers can adopt more efficient and environmentally friendly farming practices by incorporating GAP into their approach. A significant challenge Regy encountered was the need for proper financial record-keeping among many producers. This deficiency hindered their capacity to monitor transactions and efficiently manage their finances. As a result, the absence of financial records impedes achieving financial transparency and making well-informed decisions, further underscoring the importance of comprehensive financial management practices in agriculture.


“Previously, we had no financial system in place for crop transactions. Money exchanged hands without any records, posing two major issues: unclear financial tracking and the risky practice of handling large sums in cash. We implemented a systematic documentation process to address these core issues—ensuring transparent financial records and mitigating the potential risks associated with cash transactions in crop dealings,” adds Regy.
Regy Mahardika on capacity building with palm oil producers -Koltiva.com

Furthermore, Regy also supports rural communities (smallholders, traders) in enhancing financial literacy through the FarmCloud, FarmGate, and KoltiPay applications by leveraging the following features:

  • The e-payment feature in crop transactions allows smallholders to receive payments for their crops digitally, which can help to improve their financial record-keeping and access to credit.

  • Split payment allows traders to send partial payments in cash and e-money to smallholders, which can help facilitate transactions and reduce the risk of fraud.

  • Bulk payment allows field agents to help traders send multiple payments to smallholders at once, saving time & cost and also improving efficiency.

By assisting both producers and traders in embracing e-payment features, Field Agents have played a pivotal role in driving financial inclusion across the agricultural landscape. Their dedication to equipping individuals with the tools and knowledge they need to navigate the digital financial world has paved the way for a more secure and prosperous future.


Regy's journey is a true example of how young people can passionately pursue a career in agriculture. His love for farming led him to major in agrotechnology in college, intending to make a difference in Indonesia's agriculture industry, often dominated by older generations. Regy's dedication and success in implementing GAP and innovative technologies show how young individuals can make a meaningful impact in agriculture. As he puts it, "The agriculture industry needs the energy of young people to bring about swift, positive change."

 

References:

Mahdi., M. I. (2022). Krisis Petani Muda di Negara Agraris. Retrieved from Data Indonesia: https://dataindonesia.id/agribisnis-kehutanan/detail/krisis-petani-muda-di-negara-agraris.

Putri, A. M. (2022). Terungkap! Ini Penyebab Anak Muda Ogah Jadi Petani. Retrieved from CNBC Indonesia: https://www.cnbcindonesia.com/research/20221201110556-128-392831/terungkap-ini-penyebab-anak-muda-ogah-jadi-petani


About Writer:

Writer: Gusi Ayu Putri Chandrika Sari, Social Media Officer at Koltiva

Editor: Boby Hermawan, Head of Digital Marketing at Koltiva


Gusi Ayu Putri Chandrika Sari, serving as Koltiva's dedicated Social Media Officer, brings an impressive six-year track record in communications, bolstered by a profound enthusiasm for sustainability, technology, and agriculture. Her extensive experience in communications has honed her skills in crafting compelling narratives and engaging content across various digital platforms.

5 comentarios


Invitado
29 feb

Regy mahardika inspirasi bagi pak sondang

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Invitado
22 feb

very inspiring!

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Invitado
22 feb

Keep up the good work, Regy! 😊

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Invitado
22 feb

It's inspiring to see such dedication to sustainable agriculture and financial inclusion!

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Invitado
22 feb

Regy Mahardika's impactful work with Koltiva underscores the importance of youth engagement in agriculture. Koltiva's support, from training programs to advanced technology solutions, empowers individuals like Regy to make a difference.

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