Purwokerto, Central Java (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has said that the government is aiming to increase the budget for fertilizer subsidies by Rp14 trillion (around US$902.9 million) this year to handle the shortage of fertilizers.

"In 2024, I spoke to the Finance Minister to increase the fertilizer subsidies by our calculated amount, Rp14 trillion," he informed during a coaching event for Central Java farmers in Banyumas on Tuesday.

The proposal for increasing the subsidies will need to be approved by the House of Representatives (DPR) first, he said.

"We, from the Ministry of Agriculture, have proposed. The Ministry of Finance will also encourage it so that it can be realized soon," he added.

He said that he had summoned the director of state-owned fertilizer holding Pupuk Indonesia to discuss fertilizer stocks at the beginning of the year and the readiness of subsidized fertilizer stocks.

The President noted that the increase of Rp14 trillion will be pursued for the second half of 2024 because Pupuk Indonesia has affirmed that currently, 1.7 million tons of fertilizer are available.

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He further said that the 1.7 million tons comprise 1.2 million tons of subsidized fertilizers and 500 thousand tons of non-subsidized fertilizers.

During his visit to Banyumas, Widodo was accompanied by several state officials, including Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman.

While delivering his remarks, Sulaiman said that his ministry has made it easier for people to obtain subsidized fertilizers as part of efforts to serve farmers across Indonesia.

He informed that farmers who do not have farmer cards can use their ID cards to get subsidized fertilizer.

He added that farmers in village forests will also receive a fertilizer quota though they previously did not have quotas for subsidized fertilizer and seeds.

"Now, Alhamdulillah (thank God), we have revoked the Minister of Agriculture's Regulation issued in 2020, number 10, which could hinder our farmers from obtaining fertilizers," the minister said.

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Translator: Sumarwoto, Raka Adji
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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