UI and Ministry of Villages Conduct Joint Research on Economic Resilience
Delli Asterina ~ FEB UI Public Relations Officer
DEPOK, Kompas 10/07/2020 – Universitas Indonesia (UI) and the Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration (Kemendes-PDTT) conducted joint research to generate new ideas that could be used to improve village resilience.
The collaboration revolved around a study initiated by Kemendes-PDTT on the role of communities and digital networks in village development, the strengthening of village-owned enterprises (BUMDes) for economic revival and post-COVID-19 village food security, as well as innovation and digitization of MSMEs amid the pandemic.
“International institutions predicted negative economic growth, including for Indonesia. There is no other way for Indonesia than to create a breakthrough so that the spread of the pandemic does not shut down the economy,” said UI Rector Prof. Ari Kuncoro in a written statement received by Kompas.com, Friday (10/7/2020).
The breakthrough Ari has in mind is village economic empowerment that is expected to improve the resilience of rural communities amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The move is also expected to help save the national economy because it will secure national production in rural areas, thus ensuring supplies to urban communities.
“This is very relevant because part of national production is located in rural areas, while part of the demand side is in cities,” added Prof. Ari. He spelt out several mechanisms that can be applied to maintain village strength. Several mechanisms and impacts are expected to be long-term, namely empowered villages.
These research activities are expected to help maintain the purchasing power of cities and villages to ensure decent life in both cities and villages.
Thus, young people in rural areas will not abandon their villages to seek a livelihood in cities. They will stay and develop their villages although that does not mean they have to become rice farmers.
“They don’t need to engage directly in agriculture but can support agricultural development to increase agricultural added value, for example by engaging in nurseries, marketing, warehousing and creating a marketplace so that they can distribute agricultural products using technologies,” said Ari by way of example.
In connection with this research plan, UI has the Economic and Community Research Institute (LPEM) at the Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB). UI also has an UKM Center which deals with the issue of strengthening of medium and small businesses.
“Thus, the farm life can be maintained. Villages are more than just agriculture as there are other things to pursue, such as handicraft activity, tourism and education, as well as research and development,” said Prof. Ari. (hjtp)