President Jokowi Inspects Cash Labor-Intensive Program in West Nusa Tenggara
Date 31 Juli 2018
President Joko Jokowi Widodo inspected cash labor-intensive program of Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing in Pernek Village, Moyo Hulu Subdistrict, Sumbawa, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), Monday (30/7).
The President on that occasion witnessed the construction of 319-meter length irrigation to irrigate 5,500 ha of rice fields included in Batu Bulan Kiri Irrigation Areas. Approximately Rp225 million is disbursed to fund the program that involved 80 workers and took 60 days to complete.
The President also had a dialog with local farmers and discussed matters related to land productivity and price of unhulled rice.
Regarding land productivity, one of the farmers explained that the land (planted with rice) can be harvested twice a year and once a year for secondary crop.
President Jokowi then praised rice harvest in this area because the farmers could harvest six tons of rice from a hectare.
So, it is six tons of rice, it is such huge number, the President praised.
Another point of discussion was the price of unhulled rice. The President said that if the price of unhulled rice is set high by the Government, the price of rice will rise. It will indeed put the farmers at advantages but on the other hand, the public must spend more money to buy rice.
The Government is now maintaining the balance of rice price, so it is still affordable for the public and benefits the farmers, the President added.
In that dialog, President Jokowi also explained the reasons of rice imports. It is because the lack of supplies that get worse every year, whereas the population of Indonesia increased by 3 million people per year.
Responding to that statement, a farmer said West Nusa Tenggara Province experiences a surplus in rice harvest.
You are right. If only all provinces experience the same surplus as West Nusa Tenggara, I can relax. I am being honest here, the President said.
Also accompanying President Jokowi in the visit were Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono, Minister of Agrarian and Spatial Planning/Head of the National Land Agency (BPN) Sofyan Djalil, Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko, and Governor of West Nusa Tenggara Muhammad Zainul Majdi. (SLN/ES) (RAS/MMB/Naster)