The Statistics Indonesia (BPS) said that rice production has the potential to increase significantly by 4.86 percent in 2021. This increase comes as the harvest at the beginning of the year, especially in a number of areas, continues to show a positive trend.
“The potential for rice harvest in 2021 is very good and promising. But it is something that we must be aware of, considering the rainy season and quite severe flooding which can cause crop failure,” said BPS Head Kecuk Suhariyanto.
Based on BPS records, the dynamics of rice production reached 54.56 percent. This figure is still higher than in 2019. Meanwhile, the total harvest area in 2020 reached 10.66 million hectares, with the largest production center in East Java Province.
“This is also quite encouraging because the price of dry unhusked rice (GKG) at the farm level is still increasing, amounting to Rp5,320 or increasing by 0.03 percent. In the future, the dynamics of dry unhusked rice price production will still increase,” he said.
The rice production also made a slight increase of 31.33 percent in 2020 or increased by 0.02 percent compared to the previous year. Despite the slight increase, Suhariyanto said, the government has succeeded in controlling production of rice, so that people’s needs are well fulfilled.
“The performance of rice production is relatively well maintained throughout 2020. This means that this year’s production as a whole runs stable and is very encouraging,” he continued.
For information, the rice field area (LBS) based on the area sampling framework (KSA) data in 2019 reached 7.46 million hectares. This figure can still increase as the expansion is being made.
According to the Head of Public Relations and Public Information Bureau of the Ministry of Agriculture (Kementan), Kuntoro Boga Andri, the Ministry of Agriculture is committed to guard rice production nationally. In addition, the Ministry also actively undertakes mitigation to prevent crop failure from extreme weather and the potential of pest infestation (OPT).
In fact, he added, there has been a socialization about agricultural insurance from the very beginning so that farmers can immediately make use of it to prevent losses due to crop failure.
“Our efforts to deal with weather changes and disaster risks have been carried out. Not only that, we also continue to promote AUTP insurance for farmers, “said Kuntoro.
In the meantime, the government also continues to develop a long-term food estate program. For rice as the main commodity, this program has been run in Central Kalimantan and East Nusa Tenggara provinces. It has been an extraordinary move made by the government in terms of food supply.
The Ministry of Agriculture and BNI Collaborate for Smartfarming
The Ministry of Agriculture (Kementan) and BNI (Bank Negara Indonesia) collaborate to build smart farming ecosystem. The result of the collaboration, called Smart Farming Millennial Program, has been implemented at Narawita Village, Cicalengka District, Bandung Regency, West Java.
For that, Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo gives his appreciation to all parties who have shown a great awareness and concern to the farmers and put their efforts in farmer regeneration.
“Who is gonna help this country if not all of us. What matters and requires immediate action is togetherness,” said the Minister of Agriculture.
According to Syahrul, the Smart Farming Millennial Program is a form of mutual commitment among the government, state-owned enterprises (BUMN), and the private sector in building a smart farming ecosystem.
“This synergy is a concrete form of realizing the President’s direction and vision to accelerate the quality improvement of technology-based agricultural human resources,” he said.
Meanwhile, BNI Institutional Director Sis Apik Wijayanto said that agriculture development requires tremendous efforts. He believes the intensification and extensification programs need to be supported by a development pattern which is relevant to the present.
“Disruption is not only present in technology but also in old ways. The old way of managing agriculture might be developed with this smart farming. Predicting the weather, when fertilization, can be detected by technology,” he said.
The program has also been very helpful for the farmers. Andi, who represents millennial farmers that receive People’s Business Loans (KUR), uses the agree app and the ritz censorship tool for corn production support.
“This application helps me watch the field anywhere and anytime. This sensor tool can control corn field starting from land preparation, fertilization, and others because it has been installed on the cellphone,” said Andi.
Right On Target Fertilizer Distribution
One of the keys to have a right on target subsidized fertilizer program is accurate data registered in the Electronic Definitive Plan of Group Needs (e-RDKK). Hence, the role of the farmer group is considered important so that the e-RDKK data is truly valid.
Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo said that the government always tries to improve the mechanism of subsidized fertilizers every year.
“The distribution patterns are always improving. We always try to get the previous data so that distribution also runs smoothly,” he said.
The Director General of Agricultural Infrastructure and Facilities (PSP) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Sarwo Edhy, emphasized that the verification of e-RDKK data is carried out in stages.
“The farmer group is the key because of the e-RDKK preliminary data from farmers who join in the farmer group. However, our verification is carried out in stages and begins with the farmer group so that the data we have is guaranteed to be valid,” he said.
The verified data in the farmer group, he continued, is then sent to the city districts. In the districts / cities, this data is re-verified before being sent to the provinces. A re-verification of the data is also made in the provinces before being sent to the center.
“At the center, the data can still be edited or added before validated as e-RDKK data. The stages indeed have a long process,” he explained.
According to Chairman of the Indonesian Farmers and Fishermen Community Forum (Wamti) Indramayu Regency, Sugiarto, it requires a preliminary revamping of e-RDKK in order to improve the distribution of subsidized fertilizers.
“The arrangement of e-RDKK must be completely accurate so that it is right on target. This can be started from the existing farmer groups. They must really do data collection accurately so that farmers who are entitled to enjoy subsidized fertilizers can receive their rights,” Sugiarto said.
One of the companies that supports the procurement of subsidized fertilizers is Pupuk Kaltim. The subsidiary of PT Pupuk Indonesia (Persero) ensures the production and distribution of fertilizers during the first planting season period of 2021 (March-April) in safe conditions. A total of 210,494 tons of fertilizer stocks have been prepared in warehouses spread across Pupuk Kaltim’s operational areas.
President Director of Pupuk Kaltim Rahmad Pribadi said the amount is higher than the required minimum stock of 17,446 tons as determined in the government regulations.
“Pupuk Kaltim is committed to maximizing distribution and fulfillment of the farmers’ needs. That way, we contribute to the success of the first planting and the main harvest in the growing season of March-April 2021,” he said.
Pupuk Kaltim itself is responsible for the procurement and distribution of subsidized fertilizers in eight regions namely East Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, North Sulawesi, Gorontalo, Central Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, South Sulawesi, and West Sulawesi.
Until March 19, 2021, Pupuk Kaltim had distributed 223,846 tons of subsidized fertilizer. Pupuk Kaltim has also prepared 78,649 tons of non-subsidized fertilizer to meet the needs of farmers who have not or are not included in the e-RDKK.