An Indonesian farmer works in a paddy field. ANTARA/HO-Kementan
The Agriculture Ministry is implementing a program called the Paddy Planting Acceleration Movement in several regions to encourage early planting activities as a precautionary measure against a food crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ministry has urged farmers to plant paddy early and simultaneously, Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo noted in his statement in Jakarta on Friday.
"In response to President Jokowi’s directive as a precautionary measure against the food crisis, the Paddy Planting Acceleration Movement must be implemented despite a rice surplus in some areas," he remarked.
Every stakeholder must work hard to prevent a possible food crisis in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The government has outlined two strategies to prevent a food crisis, with the first being to encourage planting of crops earlier than schedule, while the second pertains to delivering the necessary infrastructure and facilities promptly to support the planting process, according to the minister.
Meanwhile, Head of the Agricultural Human Resources and Development Agency (BPPSDM) Dedi Nursyamsi stated that farmers must keep up the spirit of planting, processing, and harvesting since food is a crucial issue and a determining factor for the development and prosperity of a nation.
Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, farmers and agricultural officers must strive hard, as planting activities must continue since the food demand remains high.
The Meteorological, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency has forecast prolonged drought during this year's dry season in Indonesia.
Rains are expected to fall in several regions for the rest of May this year.
Furthermore, the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry has readied several dams, reservoirs, water retention basins, bore wells, and other facilities to store water, particularly for irrigation purposes. (ANTARA)