Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Ministry of Agriculture is making efforts to accelerate electricity connection to reach rice field areas to supply energy for optimizing irrigation water pumping.

“For the modernization of agricultural tools and machinery, effective and efficient energy is needed. To this end, it is time for electricity to reach rice fields,” Director of Food Crops at the Ministry of Agriculture Suwandi said in a statement here on Sunday.

Suwandi said that based on various practical field experiences in using energy for the cultivation process in rice fields, farmers found that it was more economical to use electricity, compared to fuel oil and gas.

“Meanwhile solar cell energy is not yet widely used among farmers,” he added.

According to him, Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman had given directives on cheaper and more accessible energy sources for agricultural mechanization.

“For that reason, the Electricity Reaching Rice Fields or LMS was developed and several regions called it the Program to Move Electricity to Reach Rice Fields (Gelisah)," he continued.

He noted that the LMS implementation in Ngawi District, East Java, has been adopted as a good example for others.

"Under the Electricity Reaching Rice Fields in Ngawi District, farmers have developed more than 17,000 submersible wells independently, and assistance to irrigate rain-fed dry lands is provided so that they can plant rice three times a year," he explained.

He further said that a similar program has been implemented in Sragen District, Central Java, with more than 23,000 submersible wells developed to irrigate rain-fed lands so that cropping can be increased to 3-4 times per year.

Regarding the widespread use of electricity for rat traps, Suwandi firmly appealed to farmers not to use electricity from the LMS program for dangerous things.

“The Electricity Reaching Rice Fields is used to power water pumps, land processing equipment, composting machines, harvesting, and post-harvest equipment, as well as pest trap lights and others,” he remarked.

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Translator: Muhammad Harianto, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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