REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, BOGOR -- President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has criticized the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB) for failing to produce graduates who take up farming.
"I am sorry, rector, but there are many IPB graduates who work in banks. I have observed that many directors and managers at state-owned banks are IPB graduates. Hence, who will be the farmers," he noted in a speech at the IPB anniversary event at the state institute's campus in Bogor, West Java, on Wednesday.
The president said his honest statement was based on data of IPB graduates.
President Jokowi said he believed IPB and its graduates have the capability to produce farmers to realize food resilience and ensure the welfare of the farming community.
"I will continue to invite IPB to maintain cooperation with the government to meet the goals. It must not stop innovating. It must not stay at the throne but must reach out to the people in the field to help realize food self-sufficiency in the country and improve the farmers' welfare," he emphasized.
In connection with this, President Jokowi expressed hope that the IPB would establish new faculties or departments to adapt to global changes with regard to preparing an able workforce.
He cited as examples the current dearth faced in rice hulling, food retail, or logistic management faculties.
"What I always see while visiting a university is the faculties of economics, accountancy, management, and economic development departments. It has happened for tens of years," he pointed out.
He questioned the reason for not setting up departments, such as retail and logistics management, which are direly needed in the country.
"National logistics management can be put in order if human resources in the field are available," he noted.
On the occasion, President Jokowi also praised the university for the discovery of the "IPB3S" rice variety that needs less water and is insect-resistant.
"I have seen its harvest reaching 11 tons a hectare. This is the discovery that the farmers should benefit from," he noted.
President Jokowi admitted that Indonesia needs a huge seed industry to provide farmers with the required varieties that could be grown in their farms.