The rainy season has begun, and it is the right time to start planting together."
Tangerang (ANTARA News) - Minister of Agriculture Andi Amran Sulaiman inspected the Farmers Empowerment Movement by conducting simultaneous planting activities in Rawakidang village, Tangerang, Banten province.

During the event, Minister Amran launched the program by stepping into the rice field along with other farmers.

"The rainy season has begun, and it is the right time to start planting together," Minister Amran affirmed during a ceremonial event to mark the simultaneous planting of rice here on Monday.

On reaching the rice field, Minister Amran used a modern paddy transplanter and gave a demonstration to the farmers on using the equipment. Minister Amran entered the rice field barefooted to demonstrate that the equipment worked properly.

Minister Amran stated that the farmers empowerment program was not only being carried out in Banten but also in all regions in Indonesia.

He revealed that some 500 districts in 34 provinces have begun simultaneous planting activities in order to ensure that rice can be concurrently harvested in every region.

"If we plant in December, we expect that it can be harvested in February or March 2016," he noted.

Minister Amran also hoped that rice production would increase compared to the previous planting season as he had distributed the transplanter equipment.

Minister Amran explained that the planting period usually lasted for three months, but by using transplanter equipment or supported tools, it could be shortened to just a month.

The transplanter equipment helps the farmers accelerate the planting process. Normally, 25 people handle a hectare of paddy field, but by using such equipment, it could be handled by a person in just a day.

"We have already distributed an estimated 80 thousand units of transplanters. We hope that several parties would follow this program in an effort to increase rice production," he emphasized.

Amran has set a target to plant three million hectares of paddy fields across Indonesia in December 2015.

(Reported by Afut Syafril/Uu.R029/INE/KR-BSR/F001)

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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