Statement of President of the Republic of Indonesia after Rice Planting Activities with the Indonesian Farmers Union, in Tuban Regency, East Java Province, April 6, 2023

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 6 April 2023
Category: Press Statement @en
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Today we started planting rice. After the harvest period, we do not postpone the rice planting activities because we have sufficient water supply. I am glad that the farmers here are using organic fertilizers. The Indonesian Farmers Union has been using it for three years.

How many hectares in total?

Chairperson of the Indonesian Farmers Union (Henry Saragih)

A thousand hectares.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

More or less 1,000 hectares. All use organic fertilizers and the cost for fertilizer, which normally can be up to five to six million rupiah per hectare, now is only between Rp100,000 to Rp500,000 per hectare. I think it can be carried out in other areas as it has been carried out by the Indonesian Farmers Union here. It will reduce the costs incurred by farmers and prevent the dependency on chemical fertilizers, chemical fertilizer industry, and imports of raw materials from chemical fertilizers.

We must overcome the problem of fertilizer shortage. It is not easy because all countries are facing difficulties regarding fertilizers. However, we have choices, including the measures taken by the Indonesian Farmers Union. This is a good effort. The harvest slightly decreased at the beginning, but increased after that. This is a good thing.

Secondly, it also improves the environment. The ecosystem here is getting better. There are many worms, there are many eels, there are many frogs. The ecology is starting to recover.

Reporter

What measures have been taken by Ministry of Agriculture regarding organic fertilizers?

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

I have ordered Minister of Agriculture to develop the program not only in East Java province but also in other provinces and regencies. The problem is that every farmer should have at least two cows. For other regions, Ministry of Agriculture has the duties to provide the supply for organic fertilizer production.

I am glad that the price of the farmers’ unhusked rice is much better than that of last year. The farmers are also glad.

Do you think so, Pak Henry?

Chairperson of the Indonesian Farmers Union (Henry Saragih)

Yes, sir.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

How much is the price?

Chairperson of the Indonesian Farmers Union (Henry Saragih)

The price is Rp5,700, sir.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

Rp5,700 for the farmers’ unhusked rice is a very good price. Last year, the price was from Rp4,000 to Rp4,200.

Reporter

What about the refusal for Israel team in the upcoming World Beach [Games] in Bali?

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

I have not received the report. I have not received the report.

Reporter

What is the progress regarding the plan for the two million tons of rice import?

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

The aim of the import is to provide the supply for the Bulog, as an anticipatory measure for the possibility of El Niño, the long dry season. The Bulog and the National Food Agency are taking necessary measures to maintain the rice supply. We must avoid the difficult situation in the long dry season when we must choose to buy rice from Thailand, Vietnam, India or Pakistan, while the supply is not there. We must anticipate this. The El Niño does not only occur in Indonesia, but also occurs in the countries I have mentioned before. To anticipate this and to maintain the price of the farmers’ unhusked rice, the import will arrive in stages, as stated by Pak Henry Saragih. 

Reporter

What about the LMDH? Corn farmers are currently experiencing fertilizer difficulties.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

I have said that there is a shortage of fertilizers in all countries. All countries are scrambling to get the fertilizer raw materials from Russia, from Ukraine, and from other countries. Our production is not enough. At the farmer level, rice farmers, horticulture or other farmers, or plantation farmers are scrambling to get the fertilizer.

(RI/MMB)

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