Jakarta, wapresri.go.id – This year, the government was targeting reducing extreme poverty in 212 districts/cities in 25 provinces. Of the target, 69.3% or 147 districts/cities were coastal areas, with a total of 1.3 million people or 12.5% of the total extremely poor population in Indonesia, which was 10.86 million people.

For this reason, to reduce poverty in coastal areas, it was necessary to empower fishermen, because fishermen were the dominant livelihood in the area.

“This means that if we focus on developing coastal areas through empowering fishermen, it will significantly reduce extreme poverty,” said Vice President KH Ma’ruf Amin when opening the National Working Meeting (Rakernas) of the Nahdlatul Ulama Fishermen’s Union (SNNU) 2022, virtually, Friday (02/09/2022).

This empowerment effort, according to the Vice President, can be done through education and training, counseling and assistance, business partnerships, easy access to science and technology and information, as well as institutional strengthening.

“Of course, the participation and collaboration of all parties are very much needed to support the Government’s efforts to eradicate extreme poverty, as well as to improve the welfare of fishermen and communities in coastal areas,” he said.

The Vice President further emphasized that SNNU as a fisherman’s association was expected to take strategic steps to improve the welfare of fishermen and coastal communities.

First, the Vice President said, building cooperation and partnerships with ministries/agencies, local governments, and other relevant stakeholders.

“Good relations and communication with these parties will make the programs/activities set to run more optimally,” explained the Vice President.
Second, he continued, SNNU was expected to develop a work program by involving fishermen, not merely a program formed and derived from fishermen’s unions.

“The ideal and sustainable community empowerment program is if the community receiving the program feels that they belong together to the program. If the program involves fishermen, the livelihoods of fishermen and the level of welfare of fishermen will also increase,” explained the Vice President.

Third, the Vice President appealed, SNNU encouraged fishermen to group or cooperate to increase bargaining power and the sustainability of fishery businesses.

“The form of Small and Medium Enterprise Cooperatives (UKMK) that has been carried out by groups of oil palm farmers, I hope can also be developed more widely by fishing groups,” he added.

Complementing these strategic steps, the Vice President also requested SNNU to encourage fishermen to utilize fishery resources by paying attention to the blue economy concept and measurable fishing, as well as increasing the capacity of fishermen’s human resources (HR).

“Increasing the human resource capacity of fishermen [can be done] through the provision of business assistance, access to marketing, as well as knowledge and technology about catching and processing fish,” concluded the Vice President.

In line with the Vice President’s statement, previously, the General Chairperson of the Nahdlatul Ulama Fisherman’s Union, Wicaksono, revealed that in this 2-day National Working Meeting, business entities would be created in 28 provinces to empower fishing communities.

“Today, through our National Working Meeting, InshaAllah, following the direction of the PBNU chairman at the previous inauguration, NU will have a business entity. Today until tomorrow, we will create 28 fisherman-owned enterprises,” said Wicaksono.

“So, we hope that later the conglomerate will not only be owned by a few people,” he added.

In addition to the preparation of the work program, in this series of National Working Meetings, there would be also a signing of the SNNU cooperation with the fishing company Aruna, and free distribution of 1 ton of fish resulting from the collaboration between SNNU and Sari Kreasi Boga.

Also present at the event was Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno. Meanwhile, the Vice President was accompanied by the Head of the Vice President Secretariat Ahmad Erani Yustika, Deputy for Economic Policy Support and Competitiveness Improvement Guntur Iman Nefianto, Deputy for Government Policy Support and National Insights Velix Wanggai, and Special Staff for the Vice President for Communication and Information Masduki Baidlowi. (DMA/LHS-BPMI, Setwapres)