"We will cooperate in the development of strategic food crops such as maize and chili. Through the cooperation, any strategic food crops, such as shallots, could be developed," Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman stated in Jakarta on Saturday (April 1st).
The cooperation will be carried out by NUs wing organizations such as the Fatayat women youth and the Anshor male youth organizations.
The cooperation agreement was reached between Sulaiman and the general chairman of the Indonesian largest Islamic organization Said Aqil Siraj.
Sulaiman agreed to cooperate with NU because of its greatest influence and impact on agriculture.
Its positive impact was felt when the prices of a number of food commodities recently shot up in various regions.
He noted the stability in the price of chili due to the cooperation among parties involved in the chili planting movement launched early this year.
In the meantime, NU acknowledged that the governments program has resulted in a positive impact on the stability of chili prices.
However, the positive impact (decline in price) has also created concern over the fall in the price from Rp40 thousand to Rp50 thousand level in the market, because it could still fall further.
Therefore, the ministry of agriculture has called for cold storage facilities to preserve farmers chili stock.
The ministry of agriculture happened to response to this condition, especially for the falling maize prices as a result of abundant stocks.
Sulaiman has also asked the Cattle Feed Business Association to absorb farmers maize with a price that has been fixed by the government.
The minister hoped that the cooperation with NU would be realized soon. "Hopefully, the crops would be planted before the end of April," he asserted.
With the involvement of all NU elements, it is expected that the cooperation would serve as a long-term solution to the problem being faced by the Indonesian agricultural sector.