Edufarmers to Support collaboration to drive innovation in the agritech sector at the Agrinnovation Conference

28 Mar 2023

March 2023 - Edufarmers, a non-profit an organization established to improve the productivity, income, and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Indonesia, partnered with Tech in Asia to hold Agrinnovation Conference on March 15 at Menara Mandiri, Jakarta. The agricultural technology (agritech) conference, which carried the theme "The Rise of Agritech to Enhance Food Security," was attended by Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo. 

"The Agrinnovation Conference is a very important meeting to connect various parties, especially in discussing opportunities, challenges, and existing resources. I will give my full support. The President has also instructed to facilitate and provide space for collaboration," said Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo. 

Syahrul explained that during the Covid-19 pandemic, the agricultural sector continued to contribute to the national economy. The value of agricultural exports continues to increase from Rp451.7 trillion in 2020 to Rp616.35 trillion in 2021, and reached Rp658.18 trillion in 2022. 

Data from the Central Bureau of Statistics shows that agriculture is one of Indonesia's economic mainstays, contributing 12.4% to the gross domestic product throughout 2022. This sector also employs 38.7 million workers, about 28.6% of the total productive age population in August 2022. 

The Ministry of Agriculture's plan for 2020-2024, which was prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, targets the implementation of agricultural technology at a rate of 70% in 2021 and 2022, and 75% in 2023 and 2024. 

The agricultural sector in Indonesia still faces various challenges ranging from  

  • Increase in yield quality,  

  • supply chain issues,  

  • access to financial institutions, and 

  • increase the welfare of farmers. 

"The purpose of holding this event is to inspire, connect and empower. We are trying to create space for collaboration in dealing with challenges that exist in the Indonesian agricultural sector," said Edufarmers COO Amri Ilmma. 

"Overall, there are certainly challenges facing agritech startups in Indonesia, but I believe there are opportunities for these startups to contribute to a more sustainable and efficient agricultural sector, improve food security, and create economic opportunities for farmers and other stakeholders," he continued. 

In recent years, many startups have emerged in an effort to address problems in the agritech sector in Indonesia. Based on Tech in Asia data, investor interest in agritech startups has continued to increase since 2018, both in terms of funding and value of agreement. 

The announced funding value in the agritech sector in 2021 reached US$204 million (around Rp3 trillion) from 15 deals, growing 3.5 times from the previous year. 

During January-August 2022, there have been 20 funding agreements with a funding value of US$314.8 million (around Rp.4.8 trillion). 

Tech in Asia data also shows that there are currently at least 52 startups in the agritech sector that have received funding from investors. Most startups in this vertical provide services that help distribute and process agricultural products. 

Several startups also provide education/training services, access to financing, to IoT technology and software-as-a-service. 

"Agrinnovation Conference definitely must be held again. We have heard from the president and the minister that the agricultural issue in Indonesia isn't small. Even though there have been many startups, we still need to collaborate with various parties. One of the challenges in the agritech sector is accepting change. That is why we must join hands to make those who are involved in the sector to accept changes for the better," said Co-founder and CEO Eratani Andrew Soeherman.  

"So far, there has been no event that facilitates actors in the agritech sector to meet and discuss opportunities for collaboration. Moreover, the agritech sector has complex problems and cannot be solved by just one player. I hope Agrinnovation Conference can be a catalyst to continue accelerating industry growth," said Partner at Arise, Aldi Adrian Hartanto. 

This event shows how Edufarmers is committed to supporting the development of innovation and technology in the agricultural sector in Indonesia.

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