(Item 10 in the Agenda)
60. The Expert Consultation was informed that the Ministry of Agriculture in Indonesia was focusing on Agribusiness system development with the following vision: To create a healthy and vigorous national economy through agribusiness and agribusiness enterprises system development which is competitively strong, people oriented, sustainable, and decentralized. With that vision, Indonesia sought to develop agribusiness system or structure to include upstream and downstream agricultural industries, agriculture itself, and supporting services with the following characteristics: competitive strength, people oriented, sustainable and decentralized.
61. One strategy to access global markets was to ensure the availability of agribusiness/market information. The agribusiness/market information system, therefore, would need to be developed to link and match supply in rural areas and demand in the cities. The advantage was that the farmers would be given access to the market and would be able to use agribusiness/market information for better decision-making. In countries with a fairly developed ASIS, three major types of information, and a fourth (other information) constituted the dominant scope of the system.
62. The development of agribusiness statistics and information system in Indonesia began in 1995 and lasted until 1997. This was through an FAO Technical Cooperation Project, which developed the agribusiness sector by setting up a user-oriented, demand-driven agribusiness statistics and information service. The TCP set up the Agribusiness Statistics and Information System (ASIS) to fulfill four specific functions: to inform, to understand, to infer, and to decide. Each function was translated into clearly defined service that ASIS provided: Agribusiness News Service; Price and Volume Monitoring Service; Agribusiness Analysis Service, and Agribusiness Advisory Service.
63. The launching areas were West Java and the grocery market Kramat Jati in Jakarta, with regular monitoring of market arrivals done in the latter, and the pilot demonstration of the statistical index area approach in the former. To facilitate data capture, the Project installed a computer unit in the Pasars administrative office, two staff members assigned to undertake data entry, and CADI sent a disk file of the records of market arrivals. The information available from special reporting forms for vegetables and fruits (called SPII and SPIII) was computer-processed.
64. The first few months of the projects implementation of the system proved encouraging. CADI thus, requested the Project to expand the application of the statistical index area approach to include Central and East Java. The data accumulated from these operations, along with the price information obtained directly from the Directorate-General for Food Crops and Horticulture, provide the statistical inputs to the Agribusiness Statistical Indicators bulletins initiated by the Project.
65. The data collection frame was based on the concentration of the area of vegetables and fruits. Vegetables included shallot, garlic, potato, cabbage, chilli, and tomato; and fruits included mango, papaya, banana, pineapple, and orange. The sampling domain was the province, with the object of data collection at sub-districts within the sampled district. Data collection was done by agricultural officials in each sub-district.
66. The data collection methodology used for acreage and production of vegetables and fruits was complete reporting, using special forms within the concentration area, through interviews with farmers or farmers groups, and head of villages, and sometimes through eye estimates.
67. Grocery prices and supply volume data including point of origin were collected directly from grocery market, while retail prices were collected daily at retail markets. After one month, the data was processed to get the average grocery price as well as retail price, and the total volume for each commodity. The results were analyzed and published in the monthly bulletin, which were distributed to all related agencies. In addition, the publications were posted in the website of the Ministry of Agriculture so that more users could read them.
68. To respond to the dynamics of the global market economies, the Ministry of Agriculture of Indonesia had developed a website which also contained agribusiness information. In addition, the former Agribusiness Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture of Indonesia designed an on-line agribusiness information using the Internet in 1995 through the cooperation with USAID, and implemented through the Agribusiness Development Project (ADP). The system was known as Agribusiness Indonesia On-line. This system was successfully tested in the Regional Offices of Agriculture of North Sumatera, South Sumatera, West Java, Jambi, East Java and West Kalimantan. The site disseminated information on agribusiness development. It was also meant as a low-cost and simple medium of agribusiness promotion to the global market. The site was visited by many domestic and foreign users. For its contribution to agricultural community, the site received the Academic Excellence Award from Study Web, Stockyard Agricultural in 1999.
69. Those involved in agribusiness practices and development were encouraged to use the site to promote their products worldwide. Farmers found it difficult to access this information because of the lack of computer and Internet software, telephone lines, and electricity. However, within five years, it was anticipated that farmer groups or farm cooperatives would be able to utilize the system. The site included the following: Agribusiness Agency, Price Reports, Market Survey, Production Guides, Post Harvest Guides, Trade Regulations, Trade Statistics, Production Statistics, Trade Directory, Buy-Sell On-Line; Investment Opportunities, Agricultural Standards, Small Scale Enterprises, Info Exchange On-Line, Feedback, and Internet Links.