Webinar on “Animal Sacrifice, Hajj Pilgrimage and Indonesia’s Economic and Food Resilience


Webinar on “Animal Sacrifice, Hajj Pilgrimage and Indonesia’s Economic and Food Resilience


Depok, Saturday, 25/07/2020 – The Center for Islamic Economics and Business (Pusat Ekonomi dan Bisnis Syariah, PEBS), FEB UI, held a webinar entitled Animal Sacrifice, Hajj Pilgrimage and Indonesia’s Economic and Food Resilience to mark Islamic Day of Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha) on 31 July 2020.

The webinar featured five speakers and was moderated by Abdillah Ahsan, a lecturer at FEB UI who is also Universitas Indonesia’s Human Resources Director. The five speakers were Arifin Purwakananta (President Director of the National Alms Agency/Baznas), Dr Rahmat Hidayat (member of the Implementing Body for Human Resources and Benefits, Hajj Fund Management Agency), drh. Fadjar Sumping Tjatur Rasa, Ph.D (Director of Animal Health, Directorate General of Livestock and Animal Health, Ministry of Agriculture), Reza Abdul Jabbar (Indonesia-born New Zealand livestock entrepreneur), and Nur Kholis (lecturer at FEB UI and researcher at PEBS FEB UI).

The webinar was opened by Rahmatina Awaliah Kasri, Head of PEBS FEB UI. Arifin Purwakananta, the first speaker, said that the economics of sacrifice is more than just about slaughtering sacrificial animals as it involves a longer chain that can drive the economy, such as Ramadan (including Eid al-Fitr and homebound trips), and the hajj pilgrimage that also drives economic exchange even though only for a specific period.

Baznas 2020 collected sacrificial animals online to facilitate animal sacrifice, provided special slaughterhouses, organized direct distribution to homes, and used environmentally friendly baskets for the distribution of the slaughtered animals as well as to revive people’s economy. In addition, Baznas has a community development program dedicted to animal husbandry, among other things. There are also food granary programs in four provinces (nine districts/cities) to solve food crisis and empower communities, as well as promoting the planting local plants to reduce dependence on other regions.

The second speaker, Rahmat Hidayat, said that animal sacrifice is the oldest form of worship in Islam. The call for hajj appears in the Al Haj verses (27-28) and for animal sacrifice in the Al Kautsar verses (1-3) of the Quran. Initially, the pilgrimage was very simple. However, today it is one of the biggest economic impacts. The cancelation of this year’s pilgrimage has a huge impact on various parties such as the travel industry. It can also have an impact on food security.

The funds managed by BPKH are classified into two types, an initial deposit fund (commercial fund) and an endowment fund (social fund). The funds are managed based on the sharia principles, prudence, optimal, liquid and benefits for Indonesian pilgrims. As this year’s pilgrimage was cancelled, the funds were once again placed under the management of BPKH. The endowment fund is used to provide aid for the general public, rehabilitate places of worship, and help victims of the pandemic.

Fadjar Sumping Tjatur Rasa said that the relationship between livestock and humans must be properly maintained. This is because domesticated animals that are supposed to live in the wild have to be kept behind fences for human benefit. Thus, the regulations are also harmonized with religious instructions, lest they perish. Regarding this year’s demand for and availability of sacrificial animals, data shows that the supply is still sufficient with goats making up the largest number of animals slaughtered. According to 2019 data on sacrificial animals, 41,289 animals were transported from the source area to the receiving area. This needs to be managed for future development in view of its strategic potential for economic development.

With regard to Covid-19, he said that the Ministry of Agriculture issued policies to ensure equal distribution of food, access to transportation, price stability (providing supply-demand regulation), and adequate buffer stock (to anticipate price hikes). The ministry also increased farmer empowerment through a strategic framework.

The fourth presenter, Reza Abdul-Jabbar, is an Indonesia-born livestock entrepreneur in New Zealand who has 4,000 heads of livestock kept on ​​1,000 hectares of land. He said that so far, the chain of sacrificial animals is only understood periodically, just before Eid al-Adha. In fact, the process, from upstream (starting from nurseries) to downstream, needs to be understood and mastered so that it can become a major sector in economic development. He also said that there is a perception that must be changed, that a developed country is an industrialized country, even though New Zealand is an example of a developed country that relies on agricultural and livestock sectors. Indonesia as a country with extraordinary natural wealth must realize this.

Reza also said that there must be a change in the perception, that farmers and breeders are poor, which is one of the reasons why students and young people are reluctant to become breeders/farmers. In fact, human resources, not just natural resources, are important. There must be an understanding that when Allah gives command, He will definitely enable us to carry out His command and benefit from it. Thus, this sunnah needs to be revived. Of course, this must be supported by regulations on various aspects, including capital.

The last speaker, Nur Kholis, said that Indonesia’s economic growth will continue to decline during the pandemic. Meanwhile, poverty will become more severe and inequality between urban and rural areas will widen. However, the agricultural and livestock sectors can serve as a cushion against declining economic performance. In addition, the data shows an increase in labor wages in the agricultural sector, although there are still many workers who are not interested in working in the sector due to the low income. Compared with other sectors, the livestock sector is only mildly affected by Covid-19.

As the hajj pilgrimage has quite a large multiplier effect, the cancellation of this year’s  pilgrimage will certainly have big impacts. Among the suggestions/recommendations to deal with the impacts is to use the yields from the managed hajj funds to help overcome the negative impacts of the cancellation of the hajj and umrah pilgrimage. This can be supported by government policies to overcome these negative impacts. In addition, it is necessary to improve livestock management in terms of breeding, production, distribution, technology and processing of livestock products to make them sustainable.

Abdillah Ahsan closed the webinar by calling for coordination and linkages of the presentations delivered by the speakers. Watch the full webinar on the PEBS YouTube channel. Presentation materials can be downloaded on the PEBS website. (Hjtp)