Agriculture minister ensures rice planting activities run optimally

Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman ensured that the rice planting period in various regions in Indonesia, including in Bantul District, Yogyakarta Province, was optimal to ensure the harvest season in the next three months.

“We went to 13 provinces to plant rice simultaneously. We will be entering the harvest season from March to April,” he stated after reviewing rice planting by the Barokah Blawong farmers’ group in Bantul on Wednesday.

He remarked that by December 2023, the rice planting area in Indonesia reached 1.5 million hectares while Indonesia, in fact, only needed to plant one million hectares per month to fulfill the domestic needs.

“It will be sufficient. The land can produce 2.5 million to three million tons of rice,” Sulaiman stated.

He highlighted that the government will provide full support to farmers in rice planting activities, such as in various forms of assistance, the readiness of superior seeds, and subsidized fertilizers in various regions.

Bantul District is the second-largest rice producer in Yogyakarta Province, with a harvest area reaching 22,834 hectares in 2023.

The minister remarked that agriculture has become a leading sector in several regions, with the potential to revive the community’s economy. The agricultural potential will become more optimal if developed through technology and innovation.

“Our long-term plan is to transform traditional agriculture to modern agriculture in order to compete with other countries,” Sulaiman remarked.

Meanwhile, Director General of Food Crops at the Ministry of Agriculture, Suwandi, stated that Bantul District, with a raw rice field area of 14,945 hectares, is capable of harvesting 22,924 hectares of rice a year, with productivity of 5.4 tons per hectare.

In addition, several farmer groups were able to plant rice with the IP 400 pattern, he noted.

“This planting movement needs to continue, especially now that we have entered the rainy season. It must be utilized optimally to achieve maximum results. Apart from increasing rice productivity, we must also increase the farmers’ welfare,” Suwandi emphasized.