In a statement received here on Saturday, Ibas expressed concern over the condition of the people and the economy and said he hoped the distribution of farm equipment would infuse a new spirit among farmers.
He said he hoped that harvests will be better, faster, and more efficient in future thanks to the new farming equipment.
The farming sector has the highest potential for growth amid the pandemic. Indonesia's farmland development has been acknowledged by other countries, he said.
One form of such acknowledgement is the fact that Indonesia has been chosen as a member of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in the 2021-2024 period, he noted.
Unfortunately, despite the fast pace of development, farmers in a number of regions are still facing problems, such as weak purchasing power and lack of accommodating infrastructure, he added.
Ibas said he believes the problem has been further exacerbated by the nation's reliance on rice imports. Imports are harmful for farmers because they have to compete with the influx of cheaper rice, he opined.
According to him, imported rice is cheap because it is grown using modern farming equipment that can cut down farming time and costs.
Therefore, Ibas said he had decided to once again distribute farming equipment in Ponorogo, Trenggalek, and Pacitan as a step towards supporting Indonesian farmers.
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