Agriculture Minister: Food Supply Remain Safe Until June
Supply of eleven food commoditie will be sufficient to meet national demands until June this year, Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo has announced.
“The Government hopes there will be no obstacle in terms of distribution which can lead to price instability in several regions,” the Minister said, Tuesday (5/5).
Citing data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS), seven regions are experiencing deficit of certain commodities, including rice.
For that matter, Syahrul pointed out that the Government is committed to addressing the deficit.
“President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has also mentioned earlier about the possibility of long drought and food crisis following the COVID-19 pandemic. For that reason, the Government has decided to accelerate the growing season,” the Minister said.
According to him, the second growing season this year is set to begin in May as soon as the harvest season ends.
“We should make the most of the current rainfall and the remaining ground water supply on the existing land,” he said, adding that the existing land will be available from April to September which covers an area of 5.6 million hectares.
Other than preparing the existing land, he continued, the Government will also provide assistance in the forms of seeds for 2 million hectares land, fertilizers, pumps, long storage pipelines, as well as small trenches to drain water.
Furthermore, Syahrul expressed hope that Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs can provide assistance in preparing lands, apart from the existing lands.
“Once the Coordinating Minister and the President have agreed to pass the budget, as many as 600,000 hectares of additional lands can be used as backups,” Syahrul said.
Syahrul further said that the Government should also remain vigilant as dry season is very vulnerable to extreme weather, natural disasters, and pest outbreak.
For the record, Coordinating Minister for Economic affairs has previously stated that rice production in May and June will increase and exceed national consumption.
The Government is expected to have approximately 3.6 million tons of rice supply in May, 2.3 million in June, and 3 million in August. Therefore, it is expected that rice supply will be sufficient until the end of this year. (TGH / EN)
Translated by: Estu Widyamurti
Reviewed by: M. Ersan Pamungkas