Jakarta (ANTARA) - Presidential candidate number 3, Ganjar Pranowo, called his opponent Prabowo Subianto's attention to the scarcity of fertilizers during the first presidential debate in Jakarta on Tuesday.

"I would like to remind Mr. Prabowo of the fact that scarcity of fertilizer is also happening in Papua, North Sumatra, East Nusa Tenggara, West Nusa Tenggara, and East Kalimantan," he said.

During the debate, he brought up the fertilizer scarcity issue while touching upon Prabowo's past terms as chairperson of the national management council of the Indonesian Farmers Association (HKTI).

"You might have forgotten this, so allow me to remind you of the fact that you had served as the chairman of the HKTI," Ganjar said.

Currently, presidential candidate number 2, Prabowo, is chairperson of the Indonesian Farmer Youth (PTI) Advisory Council.

Ganjar contended that under Prabowo's leadership, the HKTI had difficulties managing data on Indonesian farmers properly.

He then emphasized the importance of managing such data properly to ensure accurate fertilizer distribution, while also noting that the fertilizer quota is supposed to be unlimited.

Ganjar also said that he had reached out to Vice President Ma'ruf Amin to request an additional quota of subsidized fertilizers.

"'Mr. VP, please, give me an additional quota'," he said, remembering what he said to Amin.

He then affirmed that he would ensure sufficient fertilizer stocks for Indonesia.

Earlier during the debate, Prabowo said that farmers and fishermen are among the vulnerable groups, adding that he had visited regions in Central Java, where Ganjar served as governor.

According to Prabowo, farmers in the province said they were facing difficulties accessing fertilizers. They were also having trouble registering as beneficiaries of the Kartu Tani (Farmer Card) Program, he added.

"In principle, they (farmers) are expecting easier procedures for obtaining fertilizers," he told Ganjar.

The debate on Tuesday highlighted a number of topics: governance, law, and human rights, as well as corruption eradication, the strengthening of democracy, the improvement in public services, and harmony in society.

Four more debates will take place on December 22, January 7, January 21, and February 4.

Related news: Presidential debate: Baswedan vows to uphold the law for all people
Related news: Prabowo vows life and soul for democracy, law and human rights

Translator: Narda M, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Anton Santoso
Copyright © ANTARA 2023