The Indonesian Regional Representative Council (DPD) solicited aspirations related to the revision of the Law on Extension to the Faculty of Agriculture (FP) Sebelas Maret University (UNS) Solo, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. UNS was chosen as one of the seminar locations because it was considered to have human resources (HR) in the field of agricultural extension which is taken into account at the national level.
The seminar entitled Empirical Research Seminar in the Framework of Drafting a Bill on Amendments to Law Number 16 of 2006 concerning the Agricultural Extension System was held offline and online. Present as speakers include Prof. Sumardjo, Professor of Development Extension at the Bogor Agricultural University (IPB) who is also the Chairman of the National Agricultural Extension Commission since 2005 until now.
Besides that, Ir. Mulyono Machmur, MS, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Perhiptani and Deputy of HKTI for Extension and Development of Agricultural Human Resources. Then, the Head of the UNS Development Counseling Doctoral Study Program, Dr. Sapja, and Dr. Eny Lestari, lecturer at the Agricultural Extension and Communication Study Program, UNS.
"The purpose of this seminar is to find alternative solutions for the agricultural extension system in Indonesia," said a member of Committee 2 DPD RI, Dra. Mediana, MH.
In the seminar hosted by the Deputy Dean for Planning, Business Cooperation, and Information of FP UNS, Dr. Agung Wibowo, SP, M.Si, Prof. Sumardjo online conveyed various counseling problems in Indonesia. These problems emerged as the implementation of the Agricultural Extension System after Law no. 23 of 2014.
These problems are related to manpower in the form of quality and quantity weaknesses, related to institutions, namely weaknesses in the legitimacy and commitment of regional leaders, as well as consistency with the legislation regarding mandatory versus optional affairs.
Then the weakness of coordination across related sectors, the weak commitment of the local government to extension because it is more burdened with tasks outside of educating (organization), and the weakness of the local government's commitment to extension because agriculture is a matter of choice, even though it also involves food which is a mandatory affair (financing).
"Regarding facilities and infrastructure in the form of weaknesses in adequacy or kotratani, material weaknesses, namely weaknesses in availability, suitability, up-to-date, cyber extension applications [in the extension cafeteria paradigm], weaknesses in pragmatic farmer orientation, and eighth in the form of weaknesses in horizontal and vertical cross-sector coordination," explained Prof. Sumardjo.
The second speaker, Ir. Mulyono Machmur, MS, emphasized the importance of formal leadership roles such as governors and regents in creating and maintaining coordination and harmonization of working relationships between extension agencies and related agencies or institutions at various levels.
"The importance of understanding the basic concepts of implementing agricultural extension and the need for administrative staff to be placed in BPP/BPK so that the extension workers focus more on their main tasks and functions," said Mulyono.
Dr. Sapja Anantanyu in this seminar conveyed the results of his research on strengthening the agricultural extension system through the revision of the SP3K Law with a broader perspective involving inclusive stakeholders. According to Dr. Sapja Anantanyu, it is necessary to improve and strengthen the institutions and working mechanisms of agricultural extension through increased coordination between sub-sectors from the central-regional level.
"Then increase the professionalism of extension workers, whether government, private, or self-help, and optimize the role of self-help extension workers accompanied by increased competence and institutional development (posluhdes)," said Dr. Sapja.
While Dr. Eny Lestari, put more emphasis on the competence of extension workers in the 4.0 industrial revolution era.
"Instructors are the spearhead in agricultural development, so the existence of extension institutions in each region is very important and strategic so that strategic institutions are also needed," said the Dean of FP UNS, Prof. Samanhudi, while giving a speech.
Head of Agricultural Extension and Communication Study Program FP UNS, Dr. Suminah, said the seminar was closed with the delivery of a book by one of the lecturers in her study program, Dr. Agung Wibowo to Dra. Mediana, MH. The book is entitled Agricultural Extension: Dilemmas and Problems in Various Regions in Indonesia.