Agriculture minister urges Karawang farmers to harvest thrice a year

Agriculture minister urges Karawang farmers to harvest thrice a year

Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo speaking to farmers in Karawang. (ANTARA/Ali Khumaini/my)

Karawang, West Java (ANTARA) - Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo has called on farmers in Karawang District, West Java, to boost productivity by planting or harvesting thrice a year.

"Karawang is indeed optimizing planting, and (its) food security is quite good. However, the planting index is only 1.9. Hence, it needs to be optimized again," the minister stated in Karawang on Saturday.

Limpo noted that everyone from the village to district level had agreed to harvest thrice a year on a land area spanning four thousand hectares in Rawamerta Sub-district.

Limpo pressed for optimization to be conducted to handle extreme weather changes in accordance with the advice of the World Food Agency (FAO).

"Hence, we have to prepare food stocks for the next two years as a precautionary measure against very extreme weather changes. Come on, harvest thrice a year. Just this one sub-district, let it be an example," he stated.

The minister pressed for stronger efforts to be undertaken in the agricultural sector to maintain food security in order to address the problem of extreme weather.

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"We are starting in Karawang with a three-planting model from next month. Hence, for those who have harvested, 14 days after harvesting, it must be (harvested) again. To maintain the water stock, we will handle the excess water, so we can harvest at least thrice a year," he remarked.

Despite farmers claiming that three plantings or the three harvests method was prone to pests and water scarcity, the minister believes they should not give up in the wake of such conditions. He believes that every obstacle can generally be overcome.

"We must not give up. (For problems), such as a lack of water, (all you need to do is) strengthen infrastructure through more water pumps. If it cannot be overcome, then just change the varieties," he stated.

He said the Agriculture Ministry's Research and Development Division had already owned some varieties, including those resistant to waterlogging. There are also varieties that can be grown with little water.

"We will see later as to what agreements can be made in the next one or two weeks. Hopefully, it would run smoothly (the three harvests program), and other regions would follow the example, (so they can) overcome weather anomalies," Limpo said.

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