Jakarta (ANTARA) - The government, through the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) ministry, continues to provide stimulus to aquaculture entrepreneurs to ensure business continuity and community survival amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Through various efforts made by the government, I appeal to the cultivators to remain enthusiastic in terms of production and the fight against COVID-19 through providing food to the community," Aquaculture Director General of the KKP Ministry Slamet Soebjakto stated here on Thursday.

Soebjakto expounded that some of the stimulus offered comprised the distribution of seed and fish feed aid to farmers and the ease of submission of requests for government assistance.

Furthermore, the stimulus offered is in terms of the ease of distribution for aquaculture inputs and fisheries products, consultation and technical dissemination that can be accessed online, simplification of licensing procedures, provision of fresh fish assistance to underprivileged communities, as well as the provision of basic food assistance and personal protection tools, such as masks, gloves, and hand sanitizers.

"We can understand the difficulties faced by aquaculture entrepreneurs with the regional quarantine policy and the limitation of logistics shipping access in several places. To this end, we have taken strategic steps to secure access to the distribution of seeds, brood stock, fish or shrimp produced, feed, ornamental fish, grass sea, and other aquaculture production facilities, certainly by continuing to ensure the application of the COVID-19 prevention protocol," he noted.

Soebjakto stated that the ministry had also coordinated with the Marine and Fisheries Service, both at the provincial and district and city levels, to supervise and facilitate the distribution.

Since the start of March when the first coronavirus-positive patient was announced, the ministry has distributed 53.1 million seeds to farmers, comprising 6.5 million freshwater commodity seeds, 44.7 million brackish commodity seeds, and 1.9 million seeds of seawater commodities.

"Do not be afraid that product sales will not take place, as the ministry is currently preparing cold storage and fish purchasing schemes, both for fishermen and farmers. The ministry is also coordinating with other ministries to include the fish menu in the social stimulus offered to the community," Soebjakto stated.

The KKP ministry had partnered with PT Perikanan Nusantara (Perinus) and Indonesian Fisheries Corporation (Perindo) by providing loans of Rp30 billion each related to the absorption of fishery products amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Related news: COVID-19 deals crushing blow to MSMEs
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Reporter: Razi Rahman, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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