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February Rice Production Plummets, Minister: It’s a Food Emergency

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Minister of Agriculture Andi Amran Sulaiman is worried about rice production from June to October 2024, since the production this February is estimated lower compared to the 2019 to 2023 period. 

Moreover, rice prices have jumped 56 percent due to declining supply. According to him, this happened because the extreme weather phenomenon El Nino disrupted crop yields in the country.

“So we consider this a food emergency that must be resolved immediately,” Amran said in a working meeting with Commission IV of the House of Representatives or DPR on Wednesday, March 13, 2024. 

Amran said rice production in 2021 was 31.54 million tons, then in 2022 it fell to 31.1 million tons, then in 2023, it fell further to 31 million tons. The Ministry of Agriculture is attempting to increase rice production to anticipate the continued decline in rice production in 2024.

This year, the ministry targets rice production at 32 million tons. To achieve this target, the Ministry of Agriculture will allocate a budget of Rp7.74 trillion to support accelerated programs to increase rice and corn production. 

The ministry will also return the allocation of subsidized fertilizer to 9.55 million tons. Amran said the allocation of subsidized fertilizers in the last 5 years has decreased compared to 2004-2018, which reached 9.55 million tons. In fact, according to him, in 2024, the allocation decreased by 50 percent to 4.73 million tons. 

The government will also expand river water pumping planting areas in 11 provinces for paddy fields. The expansion will cover 500,000 hectares of land both on Java Island and outside of Java.

Amran said the ministry will also optimize swamp land to increase the area of rice cultivation. Optimization of swamp land will be carried out in 10 provinces with an area of 400,000 hectares.

RIANI SANUSI PUTRI

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Published Date: March 13, 2024

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