"The only sector that can save this nation is agriculture," he stressed while opening a coordination meeting on food security supervision here on Wednesday.
He said that the value of agricultural exports reached Rp390 trillion (US$25 billion) in 2019, Rp451 trillion (US$29 billion) in 2020, Rp600 trillion (US$38.5 billion) in 2021, and Rp658.18 trillion (US$42.3 billion) in 2022.
"The increase in agricultural exports means that other sectors might experience a decrease due to the impact of COVID-19 and other factors, but the agricultural sector continued to increase," he pointed out.
According to him, the coordination meeting held in Bangka Belitung Islands aims to increase stakeholders' commitment to maintaining food security for the nation's future.
"The current agricultural challenges are climate change, El Nino, agricultural land conversion, and the younger generation's lack of interest in agriculture," he said.
For facing El Nino, the ministry has launched the National Movement to Handle El Nino Impact in 100 districts in 10 priority provinces that cover 500 thousand hectares of agricultural land, he informed.
He said that regional heads' commitment is key to supervising local regulations on sustainable food agricultural land (LP2B). The regulations aim to provide protection and prioritize village funds for agriculture.
"Collaboration of agricultural stakeholders, such as the Association of Village Governments (APDESI), is needed to jointly maintain and ensure food security programs run effectively and equitably," he added.
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