Vegetable seed company PT East West Seed Indonesia (EWINDO) otherwise known as "Cap Panah Merah", together with its partners in the SMARTseeds consortium, launched the latest features in the SIPINDO application (Indonesian Farmer Information System), to support the progress of the agricultural sector in Indonesia.
The new features include weather forecasts with a spatial resolution of up to 5km, recommendations for soil nutrient content based on lab test results, as well as fertilizer recommendations. What makes these features more unique is that the information is location-based (location specific data) according to where the farmer’s land is located.
The grand launching was attended by the Deputy for Food and Agriculture Coordination of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Dr. Ir. Musdhalifah Machmud, MT, the Director of Crop Protection of the Directorate General of Horticulture of the Ministry of Agriculture, Ir. Sri Wijayanti Yusuf MAgrsc, Presidential Office staff, BAPPENAS, the Ministry of Health, the Dutch Embassy, Academics, NGOs, agriculture companies and representatives of farmers assisted by EWINDO from across Indonesia.
“Today, we have launched several new features in the SIPINDO application powered by SMARTseeds. These features are expected to support farmers predict the weather in more detail, to provide fertilizer recommendations and to guide the selection of crops that are most suitable for the farmers’ soil conditions. The launch of this application is a manifestation of our slogan to be the best friend for farmers,” said EWINDO Managing Director, Mr. Glenn Pardede.
This android-based application is part of EWINDO's efforts to utilize technology to meet the needs of vegetable farmers. Since its launch in April 2017, this application has been used by around 15,000 farmers, and by the end of 2019, is expected to help around 100,000 farmers.
The new features in the SIPINDO application powered by SMARTseeds is expected to provide answers to help farmers solve problems they often face. These new features present real-time and accurate data, giving farmers direct access to the information they need, such as understanding the level of soil fertility on their farm for more efficient use of fertilizers. Through the application powered by SMARTseeds, farmers can also find information on how to deal with pests & diseases, crop patterns and seasons and forums for buying and selling crops with traditional market traders and modern retailers, to anticipate the price fluctuations that come with dealing with middlemen. At the moment, fertilizer recommendations have been available for farmers in East Java, Central Java, DIY and Lampung, and is currently being developed for use in other locations. The rainfall prediction can already be utilized for all Indonesian regions below the equator.
The SMARTseeds features not only benefits farmers, it is also useful for agriculture extension officers and traders. Extension officers can get information needed by the farmers quickly and efficiently, while traders can use this application to find and buy agricultural products directly from farmers.
Kees de Ruiter, Regional Manager of ICCO Cooperation in Southeast Asia and lead of the SMARTseeds consortium says, “As a consortium, we have worked diligently to provide detailed and accurate information services, so it is a great achievement [for us] to have contributed to producing the SIPINDO Powered by SMARTseeds App. We hope that these services can provide valuable support to Indonesian farmers to help them farm more efficiently and more effectively deal with factors, such as climate change.”
It is expected that the volume of trade in agricultural products through the use of digital applications will increase, providing better benefits to agribusiness actors in the field of horticulture. According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, the GDP of the horticulture sub-sector in 2025 is projected to reach Rp. 142.46 trillion, an increase by 159% compared to the GDP in 2010. Regarding the labour force, the on-farm horticulture sub-sector is projected to absorb 6,4 million workers by 2025, with the highest absorption by vegetable businesses at 68.5%. If the activities of the entire horticulture industry are considered, the absorption of the labor force from this sub-sector alone could reach 19.7 million people – an increase by 170% from 2014.
Over the coming year, the SIPINDO application powered by SMARTseeds is expected to be updated with new features, such as pest & disease management advice, to encourage farmers and agribusiness industry players to increase their efficiency and productivity.
About the SMARTseeds Consortium
SMARTseeds is one of the Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW) projects funded by the Netherlands Space Office. This program is a Public Private Partnerships (PPP) involving 6 public and private partners from Indonesia and the Netherlands: ICCO Cooperation, EWINDO, Nelen & Schuurman, University of Twente (ITC), Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) and Akvo. Through this project, the consortium aims to support 100,000 vegetable farmers Indonesia, specifically for chili, tomato and cucumber.