Jakarta (ANTARA) - The government decided to increase the budget allocated for the provision of subsidized fertilizers and prepare free seeds of rice and corn for Indonesian farmers, Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman stated on Tuesday.

The decision was made during an internal meeting chaired by President Joko Widodo at the Presidential Palace, Jakarta.

"We have good news for Indonesian farmers. The government has decided to boost the budget for subsidized fertilizers this year to adjust to the agreed two-fold increase in fertilizers prepared, from 4.7 million tons to 9.55 million tons," he remarked.

He noted that the budget increase was based on the president's instruction, noting that the government will soon issue a document related to the utilization of the budget.

Sulaiman then revealed that the government had agreed on the provision of free superior quality seeds of rice and corn for a total of four million hectares of land.

"According to the BPS (Statistics Indonesia), our corn production rate registered during this year's January-March period is higher than that recorded last year," he pointed out.

Related news: Government to provide 9.55 million tons subsidized fertilizers in 2024

The minister then drew attention to El Nino, saying that the government will conduct water-pumping activities to irrigate agricultural lands in several rainfed regions within and outside Java to deal with the adverse impacts of the global heat phenomenon.

An additional budget of Rp5.8 trillion (around US$369 million) will be allocated from the State Budget (APBN) for the initiative, he stated.

Accompanying Sulaiman, Head of the National Food Agency (Bapanas) Arief Prasetyo Adi highlighted that the decisions taken by the government are aimed at boosting the domestic production of crops, including rice.

He said an increase in the national rice output is essential to ensure that state-run logistics firm Bulog can maintain its stocks of rice above two million tons.

Related news: President pushes for accurate distribution of subsidized fertilizers

Related news: Govt preparing 2.5 mln free tree seeds for Nusantara residents

Translator: Rangga P, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Copyright © ANTARA 2024