Indonesia’s Sub Terminal Agribusiness Will Protect Farmer’s Dignity

Farming Activity | @ pixaby.com

Agriculture sector doesn’t run alone. It needs participation from many aspects and actors to develop. The role of distributor and the existence of middlemen somehow give a bunch of benefits for our farmers and farming sector, however this also leads to suffering for our farmers in the end of the day.

As we know that, most of local farmers connect with middleman to sell their crop-products. We can’t deny that farmers are integrated with the system that middlemen offer for all this time. The tendency of selling the products to the middlemen becomes the only one choice because our farmers don’t have any other options.

There are several reasons why our farmers are strongly relied on the system of middlemen,

  1. The middlemen offer quick cycle of profit for farmers. Once the farmers harvest their product, the middlemen come across to the field and buy the product. By then, our farmers get the money without going to the market or expense budget to advertise the product.
  2. The connection between farmers and middlemen are sustainably connected. Even if product’s quality from the field is not that good compare to the previous harvest period, middlemen will buy the product with the same price. This benefits the farmers as well.
  3. Networking with the market becomes the power of middlemen to convince the farmers that their products will be sold as soon as possible. This reminds us that most of our farmers don’t have strong connection to the Market, Government and even Consumers, then that’s exactly one of variable that triggers this system.
  4. The middlemen offer a great deal with farmers. They seem unreasonably dare to buy farmer’s product in a big scale and this is why our farmers are attracted to do so. Even, the middlemen agree to buy the product whether it’s fresh or dry weight.

Through the reasons above we can conclude that there is a strong connection tied up farmers and middlemen as business partner. However, middlemen bring unbalance point of view within their system.

Farmers are provided two options of price system. When the quality of farmer’s product fails and unstable in the end of the day, middlemen will buy the total products with stable price. However, when the products show significant improvement in the next period, middlemen offer the same price. This seems harming the right of farmer to get a better price.

The scheme of unbalance system happens because our farmers are not covered with strong system of Sub Terminal Agribusiness (STA). The condition of our agriculture sector still needs much improvement in term of security system and pro-farmer policy.

Government needs to build strong foundation of policy to protect the dignity of local farmers. Clear mechanism of STA will finally cover up our farmer from harm that might be happened.

Until nowadays, we lack of protection and clear distribution system in the sector of agriculture. Farmers seem like a powerless puppet that don’t have access to sell and advertise their fresh product.

Integration within the whole systems is needed to create beneficial impact for our farmers. Profit is not the only one that we need to concern about, but also security system that can protect our farmers includes to the main goal of STA.

Basically, we can’t erase or neglect the existence of middlemen; however we can synchronize middlemen system with current e-commerce for farmers.

What exactly happens nowadays, many e-commerce or online platforms for agriculture claimed that they’re against middlemen. They intended to cut off the chain of distribution to be shorter. Meanwhile, it would be better for us to create integrated system where middlemen take their role to help our agriculture sector. Beside that farmer have extra platforms to sell their product to the consumers, either by middlemen and STA, or directly to approach market through online platform like e-commerce.

Rizko Fatra & Ahmad K. Latip | 8villages.com

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