Agriculture Ministry Promotes Indonesia to Become World’s Largest Rice Producer
Ministry of Agriculture continues to focus on increasing the production of 11 primary agricultural commodities, such as rice, corn, and soybean in order to accelerate Indonesias self-sufficiency in food.
The statement was made by the Minister of Agriculture Amran Sulaiman during a silaturahmi (amicable gathering) with the participants of the 2017 Indonesian Farmers Association (HKTI)s National Leaders Meeting on Monday (10/4), at Expo Hall, Balai Kartini, Jakarta.
Alhamdulillah, Indonesias rice production in 2014 reached 70 million tons. Today, the production is at 79 million tons or increased by 9 million tons. If the production is converted into money, the amount will be Rp36 trillion. This result only sourced from rice production, Amran Sulaiman said while reporting the output of the Ministry of Agriculture in 2016.
The Ministry has a target not to import rice anymore in the future and will work hard to achieve it. It is part of the efforts to turn Indonesia into the world’s largest rice producer as soon as possible. Alhamdulillah, Indonesia won’t have to import rice anymore. In fact, we are now exporting rice, Amran Sulaiman added.
The Minister also said that there is an increasing amount of corn production. On the previous term, the amount reached 19 million tons, while at the end of 2016, the amount increased to 23.2 million tons; not to mention the import of corn, particularly from the United States and Argentina, declined by 66 percent.
Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture has developed 3 million hectares of irrigation, based on the instruction of President Joko Jokowi Widodo. The development, which was scheduled to be finished in three years, can be completed in one year. Three million hectares worth of tertiary irrigation can be done in one year, Amran Sulaiman added.
The Minister asserted that agriculture cannot be developed without technology. Therefore, the Ministry of Agriculture on behalf of the Government, is now accelerating assistance of agricultural tools through direct designation. The Minister also provides insurance to the farmers as a form of protection from the Government.
As many as 1 million hectares of agricultural areas is now covered by the insurance. In case of severe droughts and floods, the farmers will be given Rp6 million per hectare in compensation, Amran added.
The Ministry also focuses to develop border areas by managing several spots considered as the center of smuggling of agricultural commodities.
On that occasion, the HKTI has elected General (Ret.) Moeldoko, to replace Mahyudin, as the new chairman. The newly-elected chairman in his remarks said that he appreciated the Government for developing a number of infrastructures in agriculture sector, for example by developing irrigation, providing subsidy and agricultural means and infrastructures, including agricultural tools and machinery.
We, the HKTI, trully wants to be the Governments strategic partner, that is in line with the mission of the HKTI, Moeldoko added.
In the future, the HKTI is expected to be able to bridge the problem of the farmers on access to capital as well as markets, and the problems regarding branding.
The event was attended by the officials of National and Provincial Boards of the HKTI from 34 provinces, 5,000 representatives of the farmers, Speakers of the Indonesian Peoples Consultative Assembly (MPR RI), the House of Representatives (DPR RI), Regional Representative Council (DPD), Ministry of Law and Human Rights Yasonna H. Laoly, Chairman of the Advisory Board of HKTI Oesman Sapta, representatives of the Commander of Indonesian National Defence Forces (TNI), and representatives of the Chief of Indonesian National Police (Polri). (RMI/RAH/EN) (RA/MMB/YM/Naster)