Jakarta (ANTARA) - Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman highlighted that his ministry is accelerating the planting period of rice and other commodities by cooperating with strategic partners and agencies.

Sulaiman stated here on Tuesday that the effort aimed to increase Indonesia's agricultural productivity towards food self-sufficiency.

"Collaboration between agencies in strengthening food security is a strategic step in realizing self-sufficiency amid the El Nino that has hit the entire region," he remarked.

On Tuesday, he held a meeting with the Defense University (Unhan), Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Ministry, National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), and Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture.

The cross-agency meeting discussed Indonesia's agricultural water or irrigation management to increase the productivity of farmers' crops.

Sulaiman urged farmers to immediately prepare for the planting season by utilizing water pumps and pipes that have been built by the agencies.

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"I hope all Indonesian farmers will carry out the planting season because we already have the pumps and pipes from the Defense University. Using the pumps are very important to anticipate the impact of El Nino," he stated.

He explained that the government has prepared a dam capable of irrigating 200 thousand hectares of land. The dam will double the Crop Planting Index (IP), from 120 to 240.

"There is a dam that can irrigate 200 thousand hectares of land, which will strengthen the IP, from 120 to 240, or double," he stated.

Furthermore, the minister noted that the collaboration between ministries and agencies will apply new technology to gather water sources that are difficult to reach.

This pump technology has also been used to water one thousand hectares of land in Gunungkidul, Yogyakarta.

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Translator: M Harianto, Kenzu
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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