Antara, Jakarta – The Indonesian Agriculture Ministry affirmed that it is focusing on increasing the production of national strategic commodities to reduce imports due to the El Nino phenomenon.
Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman noted in his statement received on Saturday, November 18, 2023, that the acceleration program is the right solution in suppressing imports due to El Nino that disturbs crop harvests.
The minister said the boost in production of national strategic commodities also aims to achieve self-sufficiency in meeting food needs.
"The planting acceleration policy is very important in reducing imports carried out due to the impact of El Nino. Today, we lay the foundation, so that we can be self-sufficient in the future," Sulaiman stated.
Recently, he had paid a visit to several agricultural production areas to motivate farmers, especially during the planting period.
The minister had earlier visited the provinces of Central Sulawesi, South Sumatra, and South Kalimantan to ensure that rice fields, farmers, and extension workers are ready to face the planting period in the October-March period.
"I have inspected the (agricultural) lands, farmers, and extension workers. Their readiness is critical to national food strategies. We hope that there will be no more food imports in 2024, especially rice, and I am optimistic of this," he stated.
In addition, Sulaiman said the ministry is working together with various parties, including the Indonesian Military (TNI), in implementing the National Food Security Movement for Advanced Indonesia.
He underscored the need for collaboration with the TNI, as food security is the most strategic aspect of a country.
"The movement has a tremendous impact on all of Indonesia because food security aligns with state resilience. The food crisis can have an impact on other (sectors). Hence, we must handle it together," he affirmed.