The development of organic rice in North Sulawesi has increased the income of farmers in North Sulawesi
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Agriculture is promoting the production of environmentally friendly organic rice to increase the added value and competitiveness of the commodity in the global market.

“Currently, the organic concept has been replicated in many regions, thereby contributing to economic growth in rural and national areas. An organic product is able to maintain our ecosystem, improve soil structure, provide added value, and is healthier for the public," director-general of food crops at the Agriculture Ministry, Suwandi, said in a press statement issued on Monday.

One of the regions that is committed to developing environmentally friendly organic rice cultivation is North Sulawesi. Acting head of the province’s Agriculture and Livestock Service, Wilhemina Pangemanan, said that one of the principles being adhered to in the development of organic rice is environmental sustainability.

This involves maintaining and improving the balance in the ecosystem, preventing overexploitation, and maximizing the use of renewable resources, Pangemanan informed.

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"The development of organic rice in North Sulawesi has increased the income of farmers in North Sulawesi," Pangemanan added.

A representative of the Center for the Protection of Food Crops and Horticulture (BPTPH) in North Sulawesi, Johanis Wowor, said that organic rice can increase farmers' independence and serve as a solution to the current high price of chemical fertilizers.

Organic farming does not require factory-made fertilizers. If it is combined with the rearing of livestock, fertilizer can be produced independently. Organic fertilizers are also more environmentally friendly than non-organic fertilizers, according to Wowor.

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“With no dependence on factory fertilizers, farmers can be more independent and save capital. With independence, the bargaining position of farmers is also stronger," he said.

An organic rice farmer, James Massie, underlined the importance of adding value to agricultural products through the healthy food industry. Research and development is needed to increase the added value of products. Existing human resources also need to be developed for conducting innovation, Massie added.

"Organic rice opens up opportunities for farmers and ranchers to work together and increase the selling value of their products. In addition, the resulting product has its own advantages because it is healthier and environmentally friendly," he said.

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Translator: Aditya Ramadhan, Resinta S
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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