“Farmers Lose Due to Lower Vegetable Prices”, who is familiar with the headline? Every year, the harvest of vegetable commodities is always a loss because the selling price in the market changes drastically. If this is the case, then the only ones who suffer losses are our “Food Heroes”, namely the farmers.
This fact is very disappointing, farmers as food heroes cannot get benefit from the results of their hard work for the country. This is what happened to Bobby Robbson, a farmer from Lembang, West Java, and his friends. Bobby told me that the selling price of vegetables was often not sufficient to cover operational costs for planting, harvesting, and post-harvesting.
“Biggest obstacle I face is the price which has changed drastically. The sale of the harvest can’t be profitable, we can’t even get a selling price that is the same as the operational costs. We as farmers are victims because the harvest price is very low,” he said.
That’s not the only obstacle that Bobby faces, currently operational costs are also increasing. Production costs such as purchasing fertilizers, pesticides, and daily labor costs continue to increase. Because of this, Bobby and the other farmers were forced to lose money and failed to make a profit.
Bobby’s Principle of Not Giving Up
Even though circumstances were not in favor of the farmers, Bobby’s enthusiasm did not diminish. He always holds a principle, which is if you never try, you will never know. “In agriculture, we cannot give up easily, because after all, we have to keep trying. If we try and fail and lose, then we still have to try again,” he said.
In addition, Bobby also feels happy and peaceful working in the agricultural sector. Therefore, he decided that he would remain dedicated to the agricultural sector. “I have a dream, my dream is to have a garden house when I am old so that I can have a peaceful life. And for me, agriculture makes me happy, so I continue to work in the agricultural sector,” he explained.
Tani Packing House Low Price Solution
There must be a solution he can start with this problem according to Bobby. It was there that he began to find out what he could do to help his fellow farmers.
Together with other farmers, Bobby founded Sayurfit Lembang, which is a packing house for crops. “I started to think about what I could do for the farmers. Long story short, I chose to help farmers to package vegetables so that they are more feasible so that vegetables can be valued higher in the market, “ said the man who graduated from Padjadjaran University majoring in agriculture.
Through Sayurfit Lembang, Bobby was able to distribute vegetables better so that he and his fellow farmers would no longer suffer losses. One of the distribution destinations of Bobby’s packing house and the Lembang farmers is Tani Packing House. For him, Tani Packing House provides convenience and more options for farmers to distribute their crops.
“Tani Packing House provides benefits to farmers. Tani Packing House helps farmers to have new markets with new types. For example, we can get a price for only Rp. 5 thousand if we sell it in the market. Even though the capital alone is more than Rp. 5 thousand, in the end, we are trapped to sell at a loss. However, with the presence of Tani Packing House, we have a new market in a modern way. Tani Packing House helps distribute farmers’ agricultural products,” said Bobby.
Bobby said he had a hard time convincing the farmers to try the packing house idea at first. But he did not give up, after 3 years now step by step Bobby and the Lembang farmers are starting to feel the results and benefits. This has had a positive impact and succeeded in increasing the morale of other farmers.
“With the existence of Tani Packing House as a new absorption of harvest crops, farmers are more enthusiastic in farming and innovating to become food heroes. I thank TaniHub for making farmers more enthusiastic to keep fighting amid the many obstacles we face,” he explained.
Hope and Welfare of Farmers
In the context of this moment of independence, Bobby also expressed his hope that farmers would be more independent and prosperous. In addition to the small steps he has started, Bobby hopes that farmers can also get assistance from the government in the form of regulations so that the price constraints that have changed drastically can be handled. According to him, there must be synergy and clear regulations between the government, the private sector, and also farmers.
“I hope that there will be cooperation from all parties. From upstream to downstream, it means that from the government that makes policies to the farmers, there should be synergy. Maybe this is an old dream but anyway, this is the ideal. There must be an arrangement of land patterns and efficiency assisted by the government or the private sector. That way, hopefully, we can keep prices good and farmers will be more prosperous,” he concluded.