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Rice production safe as planting expedited: Agriculture Minister

10 January 2024

Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman at the celebration event of the two-year anniversary of ID FOOD in Jakarta on Monday (January 8, 2024). (ANTARA/Maria Cicilia Galuh)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Rice production at the start of the year and during the main harvest season in March-April 2024 would be safe, as the planting season had been expedited since December 2023, Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman stated.

"In December, Alhamdulillah (thank God), it (planting) was carried out on 1.5 million hectares (of lands). It was already above the standard, so that harvest in April is safe," Sulaiman noted at the Presidential Palace Complex, Jakarta, on Tuesday.

Sulaiman remarked that the impact of warming sea surface temperatures or the El Nino phenomenon had changed the patterns of the planting season. Hence, he stated that anticipating such scenarios by expediting the planting season is deemed crucial in order to secure food production.

With the planting that was conducted in December 2023, he projected the production to reach at least 3.5 million tons of rice.

He further noted that the planting will be continued on 1.7 million hectares of land in January and will be again carried out in February.

"The point is, we want food security for the next three months. Planting should not be less than one million (hectares) per month," he remarked.

He noted that based on experience during the El Nino phenomenon, planting, which was only carried out on 500 thousand hectares of land, was not sufficient to meet domestic needs. To this end, planting is currently targeted to be carried out on more than one million hectares of land every month.

At the plenary cabinet meeting held in Jakarta on Tuesday, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) urged ministries and agencies to be aware of the impact of climate change that could hamper agricultural production during the planting and harvest seasons at the start of the year.

Jokowi drew the attention of all ministries and agencies to the importance of planning the planting of food crops and calculating production data to ensure the availability of food at the start of this year.

According to data from the State Logistics Agency (Bulog), the government rice reserves at Bulog's warehouses at the start of the year had reached 1.6 million tons.

Source : antaranews