Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Arifin Tasrif has ensured that natural gas supply is sufficient for Indonesia's fertilizer industry.

"We always prioritize gas for fertilizer (production), and if fertilizer is scarce, this might be because the subsidized fertilizer allocation was cut, from 9.5 million tons to only 4.7 million tons," he said on Wednesday.

However, with a budget of Rp14 trillion (around US$889 million), the government has restored the subsidized fertilizer allocation to 9.5 million tons to assist farmers, he stated.

"A lot of subsidized fertilizers were cut, and now, it has been restored by using a budget of Rp14 trillion," he remarked.

The government also ensured the availability of natural gas as fertilizer raw material to facilitate farmers, maintain fertilizer price stability, and increase national food production.

Tasrif explained that natural gas allocation for fertilizer production is part of the government's intervention in maintaining national food security.

"I do not want fertilizer (industry) to find it difficult to get gas. The current problem is that the availability of subsidized fertilizer is limited," he remarked.

Earlier, Minister of Agriculture Andi Amran Sulaiman stated that the increase in subsidized fertilizer allocation, from 4.7 million tons to 9.5 million tons, had received approval from all parties, including the House of Representatives (DPR) and the Ministry of Finance.

"This is good news for farmers. Mr. President and the Finance Minister, during a limited coordination meeting, agreed to raise fertilizer allocation, from 4.7 million tons to 9.55 million tons. We are simply awaiting the official decree," Amran said during a meeting with the DPR.

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Translator: Putu S, Kenzu
Editor: Anton Santoso
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