INDRAMAYU – After last week’s harvest in Subang (Sunday, 8/10), President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), accompanied by Acting Minister of Agriculture Arief Prasetyo Adi, carried out a rice harvest in Karanglayung Village.
In an area of 760 hectares, of which 350 hectares are in Karanglayung Village and 410 hectares in Sumuradem Village, President Jokowi said production in the area was very good despite the threat of El Nino.
“Yes (rice production) is good. Yesterday in Subang, in Indramayu, I think because the technical irrigation is still very good,” explained President Jokowi who was also accompanied by Acting Governor of West Java, Regent of Indramayu, and a number of farmers at the harvest location.
Furthermore, he explained that the productivity of farmers at the harvest location reached 8.6 tons per hectare.
He also said that currently the price of grain at the farmer level is quite high, in the range of IDR 7,200 to IDR 7,400.
Even so, he emphasized that the government would continue to strive to stabilize rice prices at the consumer level.
“I earlier asked the farmers earlier, they said one hectare can produce 8 to 9 tons. An average of 8.6 tons per hectare. And the price of grain, all farmers are happy about it–7,300, 7,400, 7,200–yes all farmers are happy. But it’s the consumers who are not happy,” said Jokowi.
After monitoring the harvest in the Subang and Indramayu areas, President Jokowi emphasized that national rice production was recorded as good.
Even though the country is experiencing El Nino, he ensured that national food reserves were in a very conducive position.
“I’m making sure that the production is still good. However, it did drop due to super El Nino, but production is still good. Reserves in Bulog are 1.7 (million tons) and another 500-600 (thousand tons) will come. So this means that our food reserves are in a safe condition,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Acting Minister of Agriculture Arief ordered the officials of the Ministry of Agriculture to continue to boost national rice production in the coming year.
When signing the integrity pact at the Ministry of Agriculture Office on Thursday (12/10), he requested that rice production increase from 31.5 million tons to 35 million tons.
“If the main harvest is in the first semester, then we ensure that in the last semester or the last three months production is low, there will be a fight over GKP (harvested dry grain) at the rice field level, and that will trigger an increase in rice prices,” he said.
Apart from increasing production, Arief also asked PT Perum Bulog to maximize the absorption of rice as government food reserves which could later also be used to stabilize prices.
“So Bulog’s job is to help save it. Coincidentally, I was the one who assigned Bulog. We make it together,” said Arief, who is also the Head of the National Food Agency.