During Ramadan, the usual demands for goods and services will typically go up. Households will cook more, resulting in a rise in demands for basic commodities such as garlic, chili, cooking oil, meat, and so many others. Not only for households, as restaurants reopen for dining in during break-fast, the rise of produce needs also rises for the restaurant industry. This means with the rise of demands, comes the rise of prices and the race to fulfill the demands.
Sri Mulyani, Indonesia’s Minister of Finance, said that currently, the world is facing a difficult situation, resulting in a need for more attention in the food and energy sector by the government. Not only is the world facing a supply chain crisis, but this rise of focus on food security also stems from the nearing high holiday Eid Fitr, a closing of the Ramadan month where the demands for produce will be even higher.
“It was also conveyed to continuously begin to improve coordination measures around food security. Like how we clear land, irrigation, availability of fertilizers, as well as seeds for goods that can actually grow in Indonesia,” said Sri Mulyani, as reported by Kumparan.
The government continues to coordinate in all sectors to ensure continuous food security throughout the year. Sri Mulyani detailed that the government is paying more attention to commodities that can be developed in a short time, such as rice, corn, and soybeans.
As for fertilizer supply, PT Pupuk Indonesia (Persero), the parent company of PT Pupuk Kalimantan Timur (Kaltim), ensures that the amount of fertilizer stocked is sufficient for farmers. SVP of Corporate Communications of Pupuk Indonesia, Wijaya Laksana, detailed that as of April 10, 2022, the total stock of subsidized fertilizers is still 828,393 tons, while non-subsidized fertilizers are 665,467 tons. Thus, the total stock of fertilizers reached 1.49 million tons. This stock of fertilizers according to him, was sufficient to meet the farmers’ subsidized fertilizer allocation for the next four weeks.
“The minimum stock of subsidized fertilizer is 314,120 tons, while the total stock of subsidized fertilizer is 828,393 tons, equivalent to 214 percent of the minimum requirement, and this means it’s sufficient to meet the needs of farmers for the next four weeks,” said Wijaya.
Distribution of fertilizers
To ensure a smooth distribution, every subsidized fertilizer producer is guided by the Decree (SK) of the local Department of Agriculture as a derivative rule of the Regulation of the Ministry of Agriculture No. 41 of 2021 and Ministry of Agriculture No. 771 of 2022 which regulates the allocation of subsidized fertilizer.
The regulations include provisions on who gets to receive the subsidized fertilizer. It includes provisions such as the farmer must be a member of a farmer group, work on a maximum of two hectares of land, and prepare a Definitive Plan for Group Needs electronic system (RDKK) to be then inputted into the Definitive Plan for Group Needs electronic system (e-RDKK) by local agricultural extension officers.
“As a producer, we distribute subsidized fertilizer in accordance with the government’s assignment. We will refer to the regulations imposed in each region,” said Wijaya Laksana, as reported by Tribun News.
PT Pupuk Kaltim, along with its parent company Pupuk Indonesia, continues to monitor the stock availability of fertilizer, subsidized and non-subsidized, in warehouses in all regions of Indonesia. They would monitor its availability from the distributor level to the kiosk level to ensure that farmers can get their hands on fertilizer this planting season and unto the next.
Currently, all subsidiaries of Pupuk Indonesia, that includes PT Pupuk Kaltim, are monitoring the fertilizer distribution through a digitalized system. The system allows transparency from the warehouse to the distributor and kiosk level. With the high demand for subsidized fertilizer and a recent cut in its availability by the government, fertilizer producers are being more careful on the distribution to ensure that it’s available for the intended farmer.
Last February, PT Pupuk Kaltim invited the East Kalimantan High Prosecutor’s Office and the East Kalimantan Police Chief to strengthen supervision of fertilizer distribution. This resulted in the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with East Kalimantan Police Chief Inspector General Pol. Imam Sugianto and continues with the signing of the cooperation agreement (PKS) with the Head of the East Kalimantan High Prosecutor’s Office, Deden Riki Hayatul Firman. This joint effort is done to not only secure distribution but also to avoid tampering from outside parties.
“We hope that through this collaboration, subsidized fertilizers can be channeled appropriately to farmers who need it and avoid unscrupulous practices and the fertilizer mafia,” said Rahmad Pribadi, President Director of PT Pupuk Kaltim as reported by Tempo.
Written by: Safaanah