"We will buy 12,500 tons of rubber that is added to the mixture to produce asphalt rubber from farmers in nine rubber producing provinces," Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono stated during a virtual working meeting with the Commission V of the House of Representatives here on Monday.
The nine provinces are North Sumatra, West Sumatra, Jambi, South Sumatra, Lampung, West Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, and East Kalimantan.
The ministry will also purchase 834 tons of resin produced by state-owned plantation Perhutani for road marker coloring in 17 provinces.
"The purchase of farmers' natural rubber and Perhutani's resin is part of the ministry's budget that refocuses on mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic," he stated.
The ministry had earlier confirmed its plan to buy natural rubber from farmers that will be utilized as raw material to produce asphalt rubber. The move is aimed at mitigating the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that has lowered the absorption of rubber production in the market.
The mechanism to purchase the farmers' rubber would be conducted by the ministry's National Road Construction Agency in some regions, including Medan, Palembang, Padang, Lampung, Banjarmasin, Pontianak, Balikpapan, and other rubber-producing areas.
The ministry has used asphalt rubber for preservation of some national roads, including the Ciawi-Sukabumi line, Karawang-Cikampek national road, Central Java's line of Ajibarang-Banyumas-Klampok-Banjarnegara, Muara Beliti-Bts Kabupaten Musi Rawas-Tebing Tinggi-Bts Kota Lahat national road.
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