JAKARTA, NNC - Indonesia Minister of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Eko Putro Sandjojo has received a visit from the Ambassador of Thailand to Indonesia, Mr. H. Songphol Sukchan at his office on Thursday (1/24/2019). Minister Eko and Songphol discussed plans for a comparative study of the Indonesian Village Heads to a number of countries, including Thailand.
In the discussion, Eko conveyed that Indonesia had a village development program similar to the One Tambon, One Product (OTOP) program owned by Thailand, namely the Program for Featured Products in the Rural Area (Prukades). Therefore, the existence of a comparative study will add references to the village head in carrying out development.
"The President wants the village heads to learn and observe village developments in other countries, see Thailand," he said.
Eko further said that the planned comparative study was an effort to follow up on the direction of the Indonesian President Joko Widodo to increase the capacity of village heads by studying village development in other countries.
Not only Thailand, Minister Eko has also discussed opportunities for collaboration in plans for comparative studies related to village development with a number of ambassadors from other friendly countries including Korea, China, Malaysia and Vietnam.
"We want to learn from Thailand, especially agricultural programs to support prukades," he said.
Eko revealed, in accelerating village development, the Indonesian government had channeled funds directly to villages, amounting to IDR 20.67 Trillion in 2015, IDR 46.98 Trillion in 2016, IDR 60 Trillion in 2017 and IDR 60 Trillion in 2018.
According to him, the distribution of village funds has a significant influence on reducing poverty in the village.
Not only that, village funds have also contributed to the reduction in stunting rates and increased income of rural communities.
On the other hand, regarding the village head's comparative study plan, Songphol offered the Ministry of Education of the PDTT to cooperate with the Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA).
According to him, TICA has had a number of capacity building programs namely with short courses, post-graduate scholarships and study visits.
"This study visit program can be used for village heads who want to learn and see village development in Thailand directly," Songphol said.
Regarding the village head's comparative study plan to Thailand, the two agreed to follow up by discussing it in more detail and technically between the two agencies, namely the Ministry of Trade PDTT and the Thai Embassy for Indonesia.