Praya, Central Lombok (ANTARA) - The Agriculture Ministry distributed compensation funds for farmers in Central Lombok District, West Nusa Tenggara, whose livestock had been affected by foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).

"As (the proposal for compensation) submitted by the local government, compensation was given for 24 of the 29 dead farm animals, based on the results of verification conducted by the team," Secretary of the Ministry's Directorate General of Livestock and Animal Health, Makmun, remarked after handing over the aid at the Central Lombok District Head's office, Friday.

He said that this compensation program was a directive of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Minister of Agriculture, Syahrul Yasin Limpo.

The program targets farmers whose cattle and buffaloes were affected by FMD. Some Rp10 million worth of compensation was provided for one livestock.

"These funds are directly transferred to the farmers' bank accounts. The (total) amount for (affected farmers in) Central Lombok reaches Rp240 million," he stated.

He said that several reports were received of dead livestock due to FMD infection, though not all were approved by the verification team.

According to Makmun, the verification step was taken to anticipate data manipulation by farmers.

He stated that the assistance is expected to help ease the burden on farmers, so they can purchase and raise new livestock.

In addition, this program is aimed at reviving the economic growth of communities affected by FMD.

"This (compensation) aims to improve the people's economy and welfare. Do not let these funds be used for other things. They have to buy livestock," he stated.

Meanwhile, Central Lombok District Head, H. Lalu Pathul Bahri, expressed hope and gratitude to the central government for providing assistance to farmers affected by FMD.

"We hope that farmers can make good use of this assistance to improve their economy," he stated.

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Translator: Akhyar R, Kenzu
Editor: Sri Haryati
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