Vocational Development of Agro-Industry
Merauke has a high potential of agroindustry. Forty-five percent of the total area of Merauke (2,093,316.44 Ha) is suitable for agriculture. Agriculture itself contributes 26% of its regional GDP. Fifty-two percent of the labor force work in agriculture. Merauke District produces 89% of the total rice production of Papua Province. However, Merauke is lacking of knowledgeable and skilled labor in agriculture. The average productivity of rice in Merauke is only 3.2tons/ha while national productivity is 5.3 tons/ha.
Since 2017, Bayer Indonesia and Medco Group have been conducting an Agriculture Vocational Program for students of Vocational High Schools (SMK) in Merauke, with the objectives to improve the quality of SMK graduates so they becoming skilled and knowledgeable farmers who will accelerate the agriculture development in Papua.
This cooperation in education involved 4 agricultural SMK in Merauke, Papua: SMKN 1 Jagebob, SMKN 1 Tanah Miring, SMKN 1 Kumbe, and SMK Antonius.
In this initiative, Bayer provides learning media for vocational students. The medium includes the development of concepts and modules as well as agricultural industry education materials, providing professional mentors, to incorporate good farming practices to suit the needs of local agro-industries.