Held on May 21, 2016 at the auditorium of the University of Sebelas Maret (UNS) in Solo, Central Java, Indonesia, “Let’s Become Farmers” was the motto at this event organized by the International Association of Students in Agriculture (IAAS), YAPSI (Healthy Food Foundation of Indonesia), together with VECO Indonesia. This invitation is a response of the growing concern on the lack of youngsters in agriculture.
The event started with a documentary called “Agriyoungsters” made by Joren de Neve, an intern at VECO Indonesia and a student in Social Work from the University of Ghent, Belgium. The movie gave an insight on the life of a young farmer in Boyolali, Kiswoyo, who went to Jakarta after he graduated high school, only to come back to his village a few years later and discover that agriculture is an industry which provides him with not only an income but also a purpose and a future. Furthermore, the documentary interviewed Mr. Sukardi, the Head of P3LL—a farmers organisation in Boyolali, Mr. Nana Suhartana, Java Island Manager of VECO Indonesia, and Dr. Jamhari, the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at UGM (Gadjah Mada University) who further stressed that in today’s market, agriculture is much more than fieldwork. An important part of it is the business and organisation driving the industry. Ultimately, agriculture is a growing industry that promises a future.