Ministry strengthens agricultural mechanization in facing food crisis

Ministry strengthens agricultural mechanization in facing food crisis

Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo attending the 2023 Technical Working Meeting (Raker) of the Directorate General of Agricultural Infrastructure and Facilities (Ditjen PSP) of the Ministry of Agriculture (Kementan) in Jakarta, Thursday (1/26/2023). ANTARA/HO-Ministry of Agriculture

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Agriculture is prepared to intervene in the agricultural mechanization technology to face the potential for a global food crisis.

"Intervention of mechanization technology is very important in increasing national food production," Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo noted in his statement here on Friday.

Minister Limpo encouraged the Directorate General of Agricultural Infrastructure and Facilities (Ditjen PSP) to expand the use of agricultural tools and machinery throughout Indonesia, one of which is through the Alsintan Taxi Program.

"I hope that in March, the expansion of the Alsintan Taxi Program will be completed. We must implement the program to help farmers increase production," he stated.

In pursuit of boosting agricultural productivity, the minister also stressed the importance of water management and climate and weather mitigation in the agricultural sector.

Weather monitoring can be conducted by optimizing climate data and information from the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG).

He said that currently, the Indonesian agricultural sector was facing challenges related to land conversion.

The ministry has also taken various preventive measures as a follow up to Law 41 of 2009 concerning Protection of Sustainable Food Agricultural Land (LP2B).

He also urged local governments to actively participate in helping to reduce the rate of land conversion.

"Local governments must be firm and have good planning in protecting agricultural land and allocating land for other development activities. This is important to do in order to maintain the productivity of agricultural land," he stressed.

Minister Limpo also expressed optimism that the use of agricultural people's business credit (KUR) for agriculture can be increased to become the easiest scheme and option in expanding the scope of farming business throughout Indonesia.

He considered that the use of KUR was vastly beneficial in providing agricultural tools and machinery independently by business actors in the agricultural sector.

"Use KUR to expand your farming business. Not all activities must use the state budget. This proved to be successful because only 0.3 percent of the KUR failed. Thank God, everything went well," he remarked.

The Director General of PSP of the Ministry of Agriculture Ali Jamil noted that this year, his staff had developed programs and policies that were aligned in a way to best address the challenges of the global food crisis.

These policies include providing agricultural irrigation, protecting sustainable paddy fields, and optimizing the Alsintan Taxi Program.

"We continue to work to reduce the loss of rice yields by optimizing the use of agricultural KUR. Therefore, we hope that the heads of the Agriculture Service would utilize and oversee these programs and policies properly," he stated.

Jamil said that in future, the ranks at the Directorate General of PSP must be the prime mover in overseeing major changes in implementing various predetermined programs.

"I hope that all will play a role as prime movers and trend setters towards advanced, independent, and modern agricultural development," he explained.

Related news: Agriculture ministry should also prioritize annual rice production: VP
Related news: Ministry targets rice production of 54.5 mln tons this year
Related news: NFA urges food businesses to make products more nutritious