Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Sakti Wahyu Trenggono said that fishermen still need government assistance to help increase their productivity.

Government assistance would allow them to focus more on increasing production without thinking too much about supporting facilities and infrastructure, he said.

"Subsidies must be given to them by the government," he said during a working meeting with Commission IV of the House of Representatives in Jakarta on Tuesday.

He explained that ideally, the fisherman's exchange rate (NTN) is expected to be 130–300 to enable fishermen to become prosperous. An NTN above 100 indicates a favorable situation for them, as they are getting a good price for their catch relative to the cost of things they need to buy.

Trenggono said that in practice, fishermen are still burdened with operating costs like fuel for their vessels.

Therefore, there is a need for government intervention in the form of infrastructure and facility assistance to fishers so that they can focus on increasing productivity instead of thinking about improving vessels and equipment, he added.

The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries has proposed a Rp4.47 trillion (around US$274.29 million) increase in its budget, taking the proposed indicative budget ceiling for 2025 to Rp10.7 trillion.

Through the increase in the budget ceiling, development in regions, including capital for fishermen, is expected to be supported by the government.

"If they are burdened with loans and so on, they will not be able to work peacefully; they will not be productive," Trenggono stressed.

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Translator: Sinta Ambarwati, Raka Adji
Editor: Anton Santoso
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