Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government has decided to increase the quantity of subsidized fertilizers that it provides, from 4.7 million tons to 9.55 million tons in 2024.

"The president has met the needs of farmers like in 2014-2018. The quantum of fertilizers (has been increased to) 9.55 million tons," Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman stated after attending a limited meeting on food at the State Palace here on Monday.

He said fertilizer discounts would also possibly be provided by state-owned enterprises that are expected to increase the farmers' access to fertilizers.

In addition, the government has eased the requirements for farmers looking to buy fertilizers by using an ID card or farmer card.

"All the hopes of farmers in Indonesia were fulfilled in this limited meeting, with the fertilizer quantum being increased twofold," he remarked.

As for fertilizer discount, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto stated that the government would approve the provision of fertilizer discount of around 40 percent for farmers.

"I proposed and Mr. President (Joko Widodo) approved that later. Non-subsidized fertilizers will be discounted by around 40 percent, so that fertilizer needs can be fulfilled massively," he remarked.

The government is working to finalize the plan to increase the quota of subsidized fertilizers and to provide fertilizer discounts to respond to the high prices of rice in markets.

The government has also decided to increase the budget allocated for fertilizer subsidies by Rp14 trillion (around US$894.5 million).

"If the subsidies have been provided, the demands of farmers could be met early. Thus, no matter how much the demands are, we can meet them. Therefore, in addition to maintaining price (stability), we must also maintain (rice) production in the second semester," Hartarto remarked.

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Translator: Yashinta Difa, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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