The Agriculture Ministry has allocated Rp20 trillion (US$1.45 billion) for the development of post-harvest infrastructure to be managed by four state-owned enterprises in the food sector in order to absorb the farmers` production. Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman noted after a closed-door meeting on modernization of the rice industry in Jakarta on Tuesday that synergy among four state enterprises -- PT Pertani (Persero), PT Sang Hyang Seri (Persero), PT Pupuk Indonesia Pangan, and PT Perusahaan Perdagangan Indonesia (Persero) -- is expected to cut short the supply chain of rice for farmers and reduce the price at the consumer level.
"Our aim is to accelerate the post-harvest process. We will focus on the provision of dryers, combine harvesters, rice milling units, and packaging units. Thus, farmers will be able to get a better price," Amran noted.
The four companies have been tasked with absorbing the farmers` unhusked rice in production areas in a bid to cut short the supply chain and lower the price. The development of post-harvest infrastructure will accelerate the process of absorbing rice, especially for state-owned enterprises that do not have the necessary infrastructure. President Director of PT Sang Hyang Seri Syaiful Bahri welcomed the plan to build post-harvest infrastructure worth Rp20 trillion.
"The meeting focused on the development of infrastructure, and it was in line with our needs, as we do not have the rice milling equipment, but we have dryers and warehouses," Syaiful explained.
However, further management of the post-harvest infrastructure will still be discussed with the Finance Ministry.
"The minister has agreed to authorize its management to state-owned enterprises in the food sector, but not to all of them. At least, Pertani or SHS (Sang Hyang Seri)," he remarked. ( antara )