Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated that the government is preparing fertilizer subsidy and assistance schemes to boost rice production in the March-April 2024 period.

"I want to make sure that at the beginning of January, all start to plant because the rain has fallen, and the water needs have been met from the rain," Jokowi remarked at a rice planting event in Banyumas, Central Java, on Wednesday, as monitored online in Jakarta.

President Jokowi said Indonesia's agricultural sector must boost rice production in the March-April 2024 period through planting that started in December 2023 on 1.4 million hectares of rice fields, continued in January 2024 on 1.7 million hectares of fields, and then in February 2024 on 1.4 million hectares of fields.

He affirmed that to achieve the target, the government had fulfilled the fertilizer needs of 1.7 million tons with fertilizer sourced from state-owned fertilizer holding company PT Pupuk Indonesia.

"I think that is sufficient, and we hope that there will be no more complaints regarding fertilizer," he remarked.

President Jokowi has also urged the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Finance to propose additional budget of Rp14 trillion (around US$904.1 million) for fertilizer subsidy to the House of Representatives (DPR).

On that occasion, the president also ensured that there are no complaints regarding diesel fuel for tractors to plow land.

Regarding complaints related to sediment clogging in rice field irrigation facilities in the agricultural area of Banyumas, President Jokowi has ordered the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) to handle the issues.

On that occasion, the president was accompanied by several state officials, such as Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Muhadjir Effendy, Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman, PUPR Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, and Indonesian Defense Forces Commander General Agus Subiyanto.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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