UNAIR lecturer: Water Using Farmer Association has chance to reduce unemployment in rural areas

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – As a developing country, Indonesia still has works to do to alleviate the problem of poverty and unemployment. According to BPS records in May 2018, 127.07 million people were employed, 7.64 percent were unemployed and 23.83 percent were part-time workers.

Indonesia, which in fact is an agricultural country, has abundant natural resources potential to use, especially in the agricultural sector. Having many large rivers, of course is a distinct advantage for the surrounding agricultural area. However, sometimes the agricultural area on the river bank is also at disadvantaged as in the rainy season the area will be affected by flooding due to overflowing rivers. It causes the agricultural sector in the area to be less attractive to villagers and causes poverty and unemployment or half unemployment.

In some areas, the management of agricultural irrigation is carried out by HIPPA (Water Useing Farmer Association) or Water User Association. One of the success of HIPPA is to open employment opportunities in the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors.

Dr. Rustinsyah, M.Si, UNAIR anthropology lecturer conducted a study on the impact of HIPPA in managing agricultural irrigation creating employment opportunities in rural areas. The study was conducted at HIPPA Sekarpadi, Bandungrejo Village, Plumpang Sub-district, Tuban Regency. So far, HIPPA Sekarpadi in Bandungrejo Village has been considered successful in managing agricultural irrigation.

“The success of HIPPA in managing agricultural irrigation with an impact on the success of agriculture through high crop productivity can open employment opportunities in rural areas, job opportunities in agriculture and non-agriculture for rural families, ” she explained.

Some employment opportunities in rural areas include, first, employment opportunities related to agriculture. The success of HIPPA in managing irrigation has an impact on farming can be done throughout the year. In dry season, rice can be planted by utilizing river water with pumping. In the rainy season, farmers in the village grow horticulture (watermelons, corn, soybeans and other crops).

“Agricultural activities open up employment opportunities for men and women. Types of work for women such as planting, cleaning grass, and harvesting laborers. Meanwhile, the types of work for male are hoeing, fertilizing, harvesting labors, and other works, “Rustinsyah explained.

Second, employment opportunities related to HIPPA activities in managing agricultural irrigation. Job opportunities related to agricultural irrigation management work such as HIPPA management. It is related to the maintenance and construction of agricultural irrigation facilities, the work usually requires male workers.

Third, the emergence of non-agricultural activities in rural areas such as agricultural chemical traders, rice traders, the emergence of stalls and shops that provide daily necessities, the emergence of mobile vendors selling food, vegetables, fruits and others things.

Fourth, opportunities for activities for rural development such as employment opportunities in services such as building work and transportation.

“Such conditions will encourage the dynamics of rural development so villages are not only objects, but as subjects of development. Therefore, the government is expected to encourage agricultural development by providing support for agricultural infrastructure, ” she explained. (*)

Author: Zanna Afia

Editor: Nuri Hermawan


Rustinsyah, et al. 2018. HIPPA – Water User Association and Employment Opportunities in Rural Area – Case Study of a Village in Plumpang District, Tuban Regency. 2nd International Conference Postgraduate School (ICPS 2018), p. 859-865

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