"This is where the importance of collaboration is to strengthen the realization of (the target of being the) world's food barn," Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo stated here on Saturday.
Limpo made the statement on the occasion of the XVI Indonesian Farmers and Fishers National Week (Penas Tani), held on June 10-15, 2023, at the Sutan Sjahrir Air Base, Padang, West Sumatra.
According to the minister, food is the most strategic sector, as it is directly related to the basic aspect of the people's needs. Moreover, the food sector supports the creation of jobs and strengthening of Indonesia's economy.
Speaking in connection with the threat of extreme weather due to the El Nino phenomenon, projected to occur in August 2023, he reminded all parties of the importance of the handling aspect.
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The threat could be anticipated by taking several measures, such as opening all infiltration wells, operating water pumps, arranging irrigation facilities, and preparing superior-quality seeds that are resistant to extreme weather.
In addition, farmers are encouraged to use organic fertilizers as an alternative to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers. Moreover, currently, the raw materials for manufacturing chemical fertilizers are also starting to become scarce due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
"We need to respond to this by creating our own fertilizers as an alternative to the use of chemical fertilizers that are becoming scarce all over the world," he remarked.
The minister expressed optimism that the idea of creating fertilizers would be realized, as Indonesia has local wisdom that supports it.
"Hopefully, with the efforts and hard work, we would be able to overcome this El Nino problem well," Limpo stated.
The main conference of the XVI Penas Tani resulted in several agreements, including strengthening the position of local foods as a form of national food self-sufficiency and setting Gorontalo Province as host for the XVII edition of Penas Tani.
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