Gov’t Committed to Absorb Farmers’ Unhulled Rice
Date 4 April 2021
Ministry of Agriculture has renewed its commitment to oversee the rice harvest and to absorb farmers’ unhulled rice in all regions. It aims to optimize crop yields and to ensure sufficient national rice stock as well as stable prices of unhulled rice/rice from farmers during harvest season.
“The Government strives to push the agricultural sector and it shows good productivity. Then, how is the absorption? We encourage all stakeholders, including the state-run logistics firm (Bulog), state-owned agribusiness firm PT Rajawali Nusantara Indonesia (RNI), the mills, and the private sector to absorb unhulled rice from farmers in accordance with the government purchasing price (HPP),” Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo said during the rice harvest and absorption of unhulled rice movement in Srikaton Village, Buay Madang District, East Ogan Komering Regency, South Sumatra Province, Saturday (3/4).
The Minister said that the Government does not only help to increase production, but it also helps to improve post-harvest handling by ensuring that the farmers use proper dryer or rice milling unit (RMU) so that they can produce high-quality rice and easily absorbed at a profitable price. Thus, the Government gradually improves the farmers’ welfare and the agricultural sector can greatly contribute to the country’s economic growth, he added.
“As ordered by President Jokowi, we will not only promote rice cultivation but also the post-harvest, including the quality of RMU so that the rice produced will be in good packaging and quality. The price should also in accordance with the HPP,” he said.
The Minister further said that the Government is committed to supporting farmers so that they will not experience difficulties in fulfilling the need for infrastructure and rice production facilities for post-harvest handling so that the price of unhulled rice/rice can be maintained. Therefore, Ministry of Agriculture will constantly cooperate with the banks to provide capital facilities through Smallholder Business Credit (KUR).
“Apart from being sourced from the State Budget, Ministry of Agriculture and banks have run the KUR program to increase production and independently develop agricultural businesses with certain profitable economies of scale,” he said.
On that occasion, Governor of South Sumatra Herman Deru said that the crop potential from January to April 2021 is located in an area of 405,404 hectares, while the crop area for April is 84,216 hectares.
“The price of unhulled rice/rice is fluctuating even though the standard of HPP has been set. We have increased rice production and the result, rice production in South Sumatra is high. This is the success of the Minister’s program and we really appreciate it. To guarantee the price of unhulled rice during the harvest season, we warmly welcome and oversee the Minister’s policy so that the Bulog will open a warehouse as wide as possible to absorb rice from farmers which price is in accordance with the HPP,” Herman said.
During the rice harvest in East OKU Regency, the Government also carried out absorption of unhulled rice movement. The movement was initiated by Ministry of Agriculture last March so that the price contraction of unhulled rice/rice during the harvest season has been minimized.
For the record, a Memorandum of Understanding on the ability to absorb unhulled rice/rice from farmers was also signed by the Milling Strategy Command (Kostraling), Bulog, PT RNI, and Bank Sumsel Babel.
In the MoU, for April-June 2021 period, the Kostraling agreed to absorb 4,800 tons of unhulled rice from farmers or equivalent to 3,048 tons of rice, PT RNI agreed to absorb 500 tons of unhulled rice per month, and Bulog agreed to absorb 80 thousand tons of unhulled rice or equivalent to 50 thousand of rice. Meanwhile, Bank Sumsel Babel prepares KUR Program for Kostraling to support cultivation activities, harvest and post-harvest handling, and integrated product processing.
The amount of assistance disbursed by Ministry of Agriculture for South Sumatra Province amounting to Rp122.6 billion and for East OKU Regency Rp14.9 billion. The assistance has been provided in the form of seeds, fertilizers, modern agricultural machinery for pre-harvest and post-harvest, and other assistance. (PR of Ministry of Agriculture/UN) (RIF/MMB)
Visit the official website of Ministry of Agriculture via this link.