SiPetani DKI: Empowering Agriculture in Jakarta Through Digital Innovation

Special District Capital of Jakarta (DKI Jakarta) is Indonesia’s most densely resided province, with 10.6 million residents (Indonesia Statistics, 2021). Due to immigration and industrialization, DKI Jakarta has become a megacity with the highest population density of 15,978 people per square kilometer (Indonesia Statistics, 2021). However, this rapid population growth in Jakarta led to several issues, including shrinking agricultural land.

Year by year, agricultural space in Jakarta is diminishing as it transforms into industrial zones and residential districts. This reduction in agricultural land, particularly rice paddies, holds substantial importance in sustaining food production, given that rice is Indonesia’s main food. As a result, the local rice production would decrease, increasing dependence on rice imports from other regions or countries. This reliance on external sources for a crucial food item makes the city vulnerable to supply chain disruptions, price fluctuations, and potential shortages, ultimately putting the food security of Jakarta’s population at risk (Rustiadi, 2021). Moreover, it leads to various environmental damages, such as traffic congestion, air pollution, excessive groundwater extraction, and uncontrolled conversion of land use (Firman, 2009). With Jakarta’s population continually increasing, the demand for rice is also escalating. Failure to manage this situation effectively could lead to a heightened risk of food insecurity.

The Illustration of Urban Farming (The Jakarta Post, 2020)

To address this issue, the Food Security, Marine Affairs, and Agriculture Agency (DKPKP) of DKI Jakarta have adopted urban farming to enable households to fulfill their food requirements independently. While it is true that this urban farming approach cannot be extended to rice fields, the government has encouraged communities to cultivate vegetables, herbs, and fruits to meet their nutritional needs. To facilitate this endeavor, the government provides vegetable, herb, and fruit seeds to all Jakarta residents interested in cultivating them in their homes. The distribution of these seeds is facilitated through a website called SiPetani DKI (short for Sistem Informasi Peta Ketahanan Pangan DKI Jakarta), ensuring that they reach communities and local farmers. This initiative aims to enhance food security through community empowerment and education about urban agriculture in Jakarta. 

A Collaborative Effort

Sistem Informasi Peta Ketahanan Pangan DKI Jakarta (SiPetani DKI) was initiated in 2017 as an effort to face the food security crisis and climate change in Jakarta by encouraging the communities to do urban farming, by giving them free seeds of vegetables, fruits, and herbs. This administration program started conventionally; any Jakarta residents who want to obtain the free seeds can come to the Technical Implementation Units (UPT) office in South Jakarta. 

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, SiPetani DKI was entirely online. The collaborative efforts started with Perkumpulan OpenStreetMap Indonesia (POI) to develop an interactive website of SiPetani DKI with an open-source platform called Ushahidi. Ushahidi is a powerful tool for crowdsourcing, visualizing, and mapping information, where it can collect real-time data from the communities. As the aim of creating SiPetani DKI is as a forum to provide real-time reports and share information, Ushahidi fits for SiPetani DKI

However, the DKPKP (Food Security, Marine Affairs, and Agriculture Agency) recognized the need to enhance the SiPetani DKI website. In December 2021, in a collaborative effort, POI once again partnered with DKPKP to revamp the Ushahidi SiPetani DKI website. This overhaul was based on the evaluation feedback received from DKPKP staff and input from the general public, aimed at optimizing the website’s utility as a platform for information dissemination and reporting. Furthermore, it was intended to transform the site into a valuable policy resource for DKPKP. With these goals in mind, SiPetani DKI sought to streamline user interactions with DKPKP’s seed services to benefit the community and farming groups while also providing public information about urban agricultural activities in DKI Jakarta.

Second Collaboration of POI and DKPKP for the SiPetani DKI Project

In this second collaborative effort, the activities were organized into three distinct categories, each designed to bolster the effectiveness of the SiPetani DKI initiative:

  1. Enhancing Website Features: The project’s website underwent a comprehensive makeover, encompassing a range of improvements. These enhancements included modifications to the interface’s appearance, updates to category organization, refinements to online forms, optimization of website link features, improvements to contact functionalities, integration of advanced search features, additions of social media functionalities, adjustments to color features on maps, the introduction of a timeline displaying the evolution of events, and the presentation of statistical data on the volume of reports. Furthermore, menu features were extensively updated to ensure a more user-friendly experience.
  2. Strengthening DKPKP Staff Expertise through Ushahidi Training: The collaboration included the development of training modules tailored to equip DKPKP staff with proficiency in using the Ushahidi platform. The SiPetani DKI Ushahidi training program garnered significant interest, with 58 enthusiastic participants registering for the initiative. Of these, 37 actively engaged in comprehensive training activities to enhance their Ushahidi capabilities.
  3. Empowering Communities through Education and Training Facilities: To extend the benefits of the SiPetani DKI initiative to a broader audience, the collaborative effort focused on creating informative booklets detailing ordering and receiving agricultural seeds. Moreover, Ushahidi training sessions were explicitly organized for local communities and farmer groups, drawing participation from a substantial cohort of 400 individuals representing prospective farmer groups across DKI Jakarta. This inclusive approach aimed to provide valuable insights into Ushahidi while fostering community engagement. In total, 180 participants attended this training session, divided into two sessions based on the city representative groups.

As a result of this training, it is anticipated that both DKPKP personnel and community members will understand how to utilize Ushahidi SiPetani DKI to provide real-time information concerning urban farming in Jakarta. Active participation in reporting through Ushahidi SiPetani DKI can significantly enhance transparency in urban farming activities and foster a stronger collaborative spirit among community members who share a common interest in farming.

Ushahidi SiPetani DKI

Impact on Community

SiPetani DKI, strongly emphasizing user-friendliness, streamlines interactions between DKPKP and the community, making critical agricultural services more accessible to citizens and farming groups. This multidimensional strategy goes beyond convenience by including a comprehensive outreach program to educate the public and expand the capacities of DKPKP staff. This unique approach not only revolutionizes seed distribution but also improves the abilities of DKPKP workers while empowering Jakarta’s urban farmers. SiPetani DKI fosters the potential for a brighter and more sustainable agricultural landscape within the city through its unshakable dedication to ongoing improvement and community engagement.

Since the latest development of the SiPetani DKI website in December 2021, the availability of plant seeds ranging from medicinal herbs to vegetables and fruit plants has grown much beyond a single location. With 16 seed gardens scattered throughout five regions in Jakarta (West Jakarta, South Jakarta, Central Jakarta, North Jakarta, and East Jakarta), access to these seeds has become more extensive and accessible. The distribution process uses internet delivery providers, with applicants responsible for shipping fees. Notably, the website has a map tool that allows users to locate and estimate the closest seed distribution sites to their homes, allowing for more cost-effective seed acquisition. Furthermore, the redesigned report classifications improve the website’s usability by providing access to six unique categories. Notably, most reports focus on urban farming, with 47 reports detailing citizens’ efforts to develop farming projects in community alleys and private yards. This strong public attention emphasizes the program’s popularity and significance.

Second Collaboration of POI and DKPKP for SiPetani DKI Project

Furthermore, SiPetani DKI’s use of the Ushahidi platform in constructing its website has numerous sound effects on the DKI Jakarta community. Increased community engagement, openness, and the promotion of data-driven decision-making in urban agriculture and food security are among them. As a result, the community is encouraged to play an active part in improving food security, exchanging information, and collectively facing agricultural difficulties that threaten DKI Jakarta. SiPetani DKI shines brightly as a beacon of hope, paving the path for a more sustainable and profitable agricultural future within the city’s borders.

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