Production Decreased! Let’s Support Indonesian Batik Craftsmen During Covid-19 Situation

image source : Batik Tulen

Not only the health sector, COVID1-19 has hit various industrial sectors hard. Including, the homeland batik home industry. The batik craftsmen who were affected by the pandemic situation were unable to meet the sales target. Apart from decreasing orders and production, batik craftsmen also have difficulties in terms of marketing in order to maintain their batik business.

Most batik craftsmen nowadays are more active in marketing virtually or online through websites, social media, and marketplaces. According to Dr. H. Komarudin Kudiya, Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Batik Entrepreneurs and Craftsmen, batik craftsmen who were affected by the pandemic situation have started to switch to digital to make it easier to reach consumers.

Beside that, batik craftsmen have also been hit since April 2020, and have to carry out massive cost efficiency. Home batik craftsmen in various regions, such as Pekalongan, Central Java, also admit that many of their production has decreased due to low demand.

UMKM and Home Batik Industry Most Affected by Corona Virus Outbreak

Said by Dr. Tumbu Ramelan, activist of the Indonesian Batik Foundation, Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises is an industry that can be said to be the most affected by the corona virus outbreak.

In fact, batik craftsmen admit that there is a significant drop in sales turnover of between 30% and 50%. This decrease in turnover is quite reasonable, considering that almost all sectors are affected by the corona virus. Relatively reduced market demand tends to be the result of the enactment of PSBB or Large-Scale Social Restrictions. So, people prefer to be inside the house rather than leaving the house.

Even though demand is low and production is decreasing, the batik craftsmen are not discouraged. No less than around 200,000 batik makers in Indonesia during the COVID-19 pandemic implemented digital marketing or digital marketing to reach consumers. Most batik orders now come from online or the internet.

This means that during the pandemic, information technology has become the main way for batik craftsmen to market their batik products to the wider community. Although maybe not as many as previous orders, digital marketing is something to be grateful for.

Online Batik Marketing Synergizes With Local Culture

Current information technology can encourage batik handicraft products to remain easily accessible to consumers at large. The goal is that the local culture-based batik industry continues to exist in its own country.

Through the use of technology, it is hoped that the batik industry can contribute greatly to recovering the economy affected by COVID-19. Because, in 2019, batik products won quite high foreign exchange earnings. That is around US $ 17.99 million. Meanwhile, around January-July 2020, the export value of batik increased by US $ 21.54 million. With the main markets of the United States, Japan and European countries.

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