Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Minister of Trade Zulkfili Hasan who just returned from India revealed the secret behind the country’s success in developing its agriculture. So far, India is known as one of the largest rice producing countries and also the largest exporter in the world.
“In India 1.4 billion people can have a surplus, more. I asked the Ministry of Commerce, all use cooperatives, not conglomerates, all cooperative farming. Fertilizers don’t use fertilizer factories like us, but fertilizers are made by cooperatives, but research by the government. Fertilizer using pills like this can be given water for 2 hectares, produced by cooperatives,” Zulhas said in a working meeting with Commission VI of the DPR RI, Thursday (4/9/23).
This policy is for the sake of securing stocks and avoiding depletion of food stocks in the country, especially for India’s size with a population of billions of people. Zulhas also remembered that the policy was like the Indonesian method during the New Order or Suharto era.
“But there is no ambiguity in the policy, the main thing is that farmers are heavily subsidized. All fertilizers, flowers are all non-bargaining, domestically (in terms of) they eat it all out, something like the new order for fertilizer irrigation. We regulate fertilizer too much. there are a lot of them, when the rice fields need fertilizer, the farmers don’t have any fertilizer, if there is fertilizer harvest, this (problem) doesn’t go away,” said Zulhas.
Photo: Seller serving rice buyers at the Pal Merah market, Jakarta, Wednesday (23/8/2023). The price of rice has been observed rising today and again scoring a record high. (CNBC Indonesia/Tri Susilo)
Sellers serve rice buyers at the Pal Merah market, Jakarta, Wednesday (23/8/2023). The price of rice has been observed rising today and again scoring a record high. (CNBC Indonesia/Tri Susilo)
Not only India, other ASEAN countries such as Vietnam are also countries with a surplus in agriculture, especially rice. One of the keys to its success is the seriousness of the government in developing agriculture.
“In Vietnam agricultural land is higher than the National Park. So agriculture can’t be housing, factories, if it’s rice fields it can’t be changed forever. We have laws but it’s still like that. If we are serious we can do it,” said Zulhas.
However, Indonesia can no longer depend too much on imports from other countries. This is because each country is tightening its export policy in order to secure domestic stocks. The El Nino factor is also another consideration.
“Vietnam reduced its rice planting because El Nino was dry, rice ate a lot of water, so rice planting (initially) was 2 seasons to 1 season because of a surplus,” said Zulhas.
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