Jakarta (ANTARA) - Acting Agriculture Minister Arief Prasetyo Adi affirmed that his ministry is intensifying efforts to boost production and farmers' welfare, including coordination with state-run logistics company, Bulog, to absorb the farmers' production.

"One by one, we will sort out this problem. Bulog must also carry out domestic absorption. However, if the production is not high enough, we will focus on preparing the Government Food Reserves (CPP)," Adi noted in an official statement on Monday.

According to Adi, the agricultural sector has vast potential to increase competitiveness, both through downstreaming and production volumes.

However, several factors have hampered domestic production levels, including the extreme dry season caused by El Nino and the threat of pests, he remarked.

"Production failure in one area is not only the responsibility of one party. It could also be due to climate change, lack of water, or pests," he pointed out.

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Hence, Adi noted that coordination should be conducted between the Home Affairs Ministry, Trade Ministry, and Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Ministry.

"We will coordinate with Bulog and the Trade Ministry to shorten the coordination chain. Most importantly, to increase production availability and maintain rice price," he remarked.

During his visit to Subang District with President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on Sunday, the president stated that the price of rice is currently stable, at an average selling price of Rp7 thousand per kilogram. The government will also provide reasonable rice prices for the public as consumers.

"The farmers are happy because the price of rice grain is around Rp7 thousand per kilogram. However, the buyers might not be happy with this price. We need to overcome this gap through absorption and increasing market supply," the president noted.

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Translator: Kuntum Khaira R, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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