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Government Asked to Overcome Inequality in Food Productivity

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  Government Asked to Overcome Inequality in Food Productivity

Photo: Ilustrasi. (Is)

Jakarta, HanTer – Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS) researcher Indra Setiawan emphasized the importance of overcoming the inequality of food productivity between regions in order to improve the food security of the archipelago.

“The development of productivity of important crops, such as rice and corn, which tend to stagnate in recent years can be overcome by spurring productivity increases outside Java,” he said in a written statement in Jakarta, Friday (6/8).

Data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) shows that the productivity of rice produced in Java is 23 percent higher than the productivity of rice outside Java.

In addition, the average productivity of rice farmers outside Java only reached 45.78 quintals of GKG per hectare, lower than the productivity of rice farmers in Java, which was 56.42 quintals of GKG per hectare.

As a result, according to him, although the rice harvested area outside Java contributed to around 50 percent of the total national rice harvested area which reached 10.68 million hectares in 2019, the contribution of farmers outside Java to national rice production was only 44 percent.

“The potential for increasing productivity from outside Java can be boosted through the use of superior fertilizers and seeds, agricultural mechanization, as well as increasing access and improving irrigation networks,” said Indra Setiawan.

He argues that the productivity gap between Java and outside Java has tended to be consistent over the last two decades. The impact on increasing national rice production will be very significant if this gap is addressed.

Indra explained that the productivity gap occurs due to many factors, such as differences in the level of soil fertility and weather that supports cultivation, human resources, conditions of agricultural infrastructure and the application of cultivation technology.

In general, he said, farmers outside Java are relatively behind their colleagues in Java, both in terms of capacity and technology of agricultural cultivation.

“Efforts are needed to narrow the gap, for example through mentoring, intensive counseling and strengthening the capacity of farmer groups,” he explained.

In addition, the government also needs to build adequate irrigation infrastructure, encourage mechanization of the planting process, starting with land preparation and harvesting.

He also recommended the government to increase efforts to narrow the productivity gap between regions to create new food crop centers in Indonesia.

“The emergence of food crop centers spread across various regions is expected to reduce logistics costs and ultimately make selling prices more competitive for sellers and more affordable for consumers,” he explained. (Ant)

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