UB MF Team Helps Improve Marketing Management of Farmer Group in Blitar Regency

Most of the agricultural sector is still built with a relatively small business scale associated with a low level of welfare. The capacity of farmers is an important component in the development of the food economy. Based on the orientation of agribusiness as agricultural development, farmer capacity is based on institutional development.

Universitas Brawijaya (UB) lecturer Karuniawan Puji Wicaksono, SP., MP., Ph.D said that institutional strengthening is crucial in strengthening the competitiveness of farmers. So that later it will affect agricultural yields in various aspects, one of which is the marketing aspect. Thus, farmers can develop institutions from, to and for farmers.

“The existence of an institution will facilitate facilitating and strengthening farmers,” said Karuniawan Puji Wicaksono.

Departing from this, the Community Food Barn Matching Fund program was formed. This program is an initiative of UB and the Agriculture Office of Blitar City to collaborate with Rukun Sentosa Farmer Group, Dadaplangu Village, Blitar Regency.

“This program will have the output of both service and research,” he said.

This program is funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture which was obtained by UB, under a grant entitled “Increasing the Capacity of Community Food Barns with Appropriate Technology Downstream Technology, Marketing Strategy, and Social Inclusiveness for the Development of Green Economy for the Community of Blitar Regency”.

This program is chaired by Karuniawan Puji Wicaksono, SP., MP., Ph.D. In the Marketing aspect, the Coordinator of Marketing Management assistance by Dr. Rosihan Asmara, SE., MP., lecturer in Agribusiness Study Program, UB FP. This Marketing aspect workshop activity was carried out on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 at the house of Mr. Yoyok as Treasurer of the farmer group.

Rukun Sentosa farmer group previously carried out simple rice marketing. In 1 month, the group is able to produce as much as 1 ton. But in terms of packaging, it adjusts to consumer demand. The average rice is packed in a size of 50 kg.

Based on this, it shows that consumers are generally dominated by resellers who will sell rice with different packaging. In addition, related to transportation facilities, the buyer picks up the rice to be purchased himself.

The marketing channel itself is still quite simple, because a business entity has not yet been formed, so Rukun Sentosa farmer group has yet to obtain certification.

“So, it is felt necessary to increase capacity in the marketing aspect to minimize the marketing chain and maximize profits, by also focusing on the retail market target,” he added.

Also attending the workshop were representatives from the Food Security and Agriculture Office of Blitar Regency, the Department of Industry and Trade, managers and members of farmer group, as well as involving MBKM students.

This workshop has several points that will be discussed in sharing together. First, a workshop on developing internal and external collaboration involving experts, namely Dr. George Towar Ikbal Tawakkal, S.IP., M.Si in the area of expertise in institutional strengthening, the Agriculture and Food Service of Blitar Regency, and Rukun Sentosa farmer group.

Furthermore, the workshop continued with materials on developing a market penetration strategy involving experts in the field of agricultural institutions of UB Faculty of Agriculture, Bayu Adi Kusuma, SP., MBA., Blitar Regency Agriculture and Food Service, and Rukun Sentosa farmer group.

“The FGD was conducted to design a marketing strategy for rice products. This activity is carried out by presenting material, questions and answers and group discussion forums which are expected to be able to provide output on increasing the capacity of farmers in the marketing aspect, to ensure quality to consumers and improve the bargaining position of farmers,” he concluded. [MF/ Humas UB/ Trans. Iir]