Fertilizer is one of the crucial commodities for farmers all over Indonesia. With it being an important ingredient in the effort to fulfill Indonesia’s food security, fertilizer supplies the crops with much-needed nutrients that can help determine the success of a crop. This is why each year, the government will set aside a budget supplying farmers with subsidized fertilizers.
According to Kata Data, the subsidized fertilizer budget has been increasing steadily since 2016 and all through 2019. With an increase from Rp 26,85 trillion to Rp 34,31 trillion. In the last few years, however, that budget has been cut due to the economic conditions caused by the pandemic. Earlier this year, the government announced a reduction in the 2022 state budget (APBN) for subsidized fertilizer to Rp 25,3 trillion. A total of 13,06 percent budget cuts from the previous Rp 29,1 trillion in 2021.
The Rising Abuse of Fertilizers
The budget cut led to a decreasing number of non-subsidized fertilizers available and increased the demand for non-subsidized fertilizers. Sad to say that this budget cut has also led to foul play by irresponsible parties. According to Bisnis.com, several regions in Indonesia have seen a circulation of fake fertilizer that is being sold up to 20 percent cheaper than the original non-subsidized fertilizers. Other news channels also reported the selling of subsidized fertilizer that is repackaged as a non-subsidized fertilizer to amp up the price. All this rampant abuse of fertilizer led to reports of failed crops and losses for farmers.
With subsidized fertilizer being goods under the Government’s control, its distribution has always been watched carefully to ensure that it is on target and reaches the intended farmers that have been determined according to the allocation in the Electronic Definitive Plan for Group Needs (E-RDKK). The rampant abuse that is happening pushes the government, along with fertilizer producers, to keep a tighter watch on its distribution. Pupuk Kalimantan Timur (Kaltim), a subsidiary of Pupuk Indonesia, is one of the producers of subsidized fertilizer that is taking an extra step to ensure that the distribution of its product is on target and safe from any action of irresponsible parties.
PKT Cooperates with Regional Police Chief (Kapolda) and Prosecutors Office (Kejati)
Based on Pupuk Indonesia’s policy regarding the zoning of subsidized fertilizer that has been in effect since 2021, Pupuk Kaltim is responsible for the distribution of the subsidized urea fertilizer in all regions of East Kalimantan Province. Securing the distribution in those regions, Pupuk Kaltim cooperates with the High Prosecutor’s Office (Kajati) of East Kalimantan and the East Kalimantan Police Chief for assistance and distribution security.
“PKT will cooperate with Polda Kaltim for assistance and distribution security so that subsidized fertilizers can be properly distributed to farmers who are entitled to receive according to the allocation set by the government,” said Rahmad Pribadi, President Director of Pupuk Kaltim.
The cooperation started in February when Pupuk Kaltim signs a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between them and the East Kalimantan Regional Police Chief, Inspector General of Police Imam Sugianto. Along with a signing of the Cooperation Agreement (PKS) with Head of the High Prosecutor’s Office (Kajati) of East Kalimantan, Deden Riki Hayatul Firman.
“This collaboration is the first step to realize our commitment to securing fertilizer distribution in our operational areas, starting from the East Kalimantan area, which is the Pupuk Kaltim’s base of operations. In the future, we are ready to expand this commitment by collaborating with law enforcement agencies in various distribution areas of our responsibility,” continues Rahmad Pribadi as reported by Detik.
Various efforts from this collaboration will include providing security services and escorting the distribution of Pupuk Kaltim Fertilizer, along with coordinating tasks and functions. The collaboration will also include socializing laws and regulations in the field of fertilizer procurement and distribution and affirming the law enforcement process for violations of subsidized fertilizer provisions.
Pupuk Kaltim’s Product Education
Along with securing the distribution of its fertilizer, Pupuk Kaltim is also urging farmers to be more alert with their purchase of fertilizer. With the rise of fake fertilizer that is mixed in with other harmful components, identifying which fertilizer is real and which isn’t, can be hard, especially for those who are swayed by the lower pricing. Pupuk Kaltim’s Vice President of Marketing Business Partner, Jefri Limeisa Putra, said that while the packaging of fake fertilizer can be quite similar to the real one, a closer look can help farmers to differentiate which is which.
For example, Jefri said to pay close attention to the sack and the design on them. On the real fertilizer, the inside of the sack will feel stronger than the fake ones. The color of the packaging printing also tends to be more concentrated with minimal fadings. Other details that farmers need to be keeping an eye out for on the packaging include the name of the producer, content, SNI, NPP codes, and the location of production.
Another thing to pay attention to is the content of the fertilizer itself. While it might need an actual test to see if the fertilizer is real or not, a closer look at the physical look, texture, smell, and taste of the fertilizer can be used as an alternative to identify the real fertilizer. On NPK Pelangi fertilizer, where the fertilizer comes in colorful granules, it will have a pungent smell and when broken down, the color of the outside and the inside is the same.
For the P2o5-Dap element, the real Dap can be licked and have a sour taste. In contrast, the fake fertilizer does not have a sour taste. Same as the NPK Pelangi, if broken down, the inside and the outside will have the same color. Lastly, the KCL element on a real fertilizer will have a red color, while on the fake one the color is yellow. Physically, this fertilizer doesn’t crumble easily and when pressed with a finger, it doesn’t feel sharp or hurt.
Written by: Safaanah