Fertilizer for National Food Security in the Midst of a Pandemic

11 August 2020

The food sector during a pandemic is one of the important things that concern the Government. To anticipate food insecurity with an increasing level of the need, one of the efforts made is to strengthen the society's agricultural sector by providing sufficient fertilizer during the planting season throughout Indonesia, especially during the current Covid-19 pandemic. So far, the national Urea production capacity is 8 million tons per year, while the demand is higher, up to 9 million tons per year. Therefore, it is important for the Government to maintain the sustainability of fertilizer industry to meet farmers' needs according to the required allocation.


The President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, had also instructed the acceleration of the planting season by utilizing the current rainfall. He also emphasized that farmers must continue to be productive by implementing health protocols. Therefore, the availability of agricultural production facilities, both related to seeds and fertilizers, is of particular concern to the Government, besides the economic stimulus for farmers. Fertilizer production capacity is also targeted to increase and is demanded to be able to meet all the demands ahead of the planting season, so there is no shortage of supply that can hinder agricultural productivity in all regions.


In addition, the society's new habit of farming at home during the Covid-19 pandemic has increased the demand for fertilizer. This is also important to fulfill to maintain the productivity of the society, at least it can meet the personal needs of planting carried out. Managing Director of Pupuk Kaltim, Meizar Effendi, said that in order to keep productivity going, Pupuk Kaltim as a subsidiary of Pupuk Indonesia which is assigned to distribute national subsidized fertilizers to 2/3 of Indonesia's territory, prepares fertilizer stocks, not only subsidized fertilizers, but also non-subsidized and biological fertilizers. "Currently, Pupuk Kaltim has 5 Urea factories which their performances maintained to continue to operate productively to support National Food Security, especially during the current pandemic," explained Meizar.


Meizar also explained that Pupuk Kaltim produces 3.43 million tons of Urea per year currently, consisting of subsidized urea marketed under Pupuk Indonesia Holding Company trademark and non-subsidized urea fertilizer marketed under the brand name “Daun Buah”. In addition, Pupuk Kaltim also produces 330,000 tons of NPK fertilizer, consisting of subsidized NPK marketed under “NPK Phonska” trademark and non-subsidized NPK marketed under “NPK Pelangi” trademark. "Pupuk Kaltim distributes subsidized Urea and NPK in accordance with the allocation set by the Government based on the 6 Right principles, namely Right Type, Right Amount, Right Price, Right Place, Right Time and Right Quality," said Meizar.


Considering that subsidized fertilizers play an important role in increasing the productivity of agricultural commodities, Meizar ensures that Pupuk Kaltim's factory operations are currently in a normal and good condition. Even in pandemic conditions, Pupuk Kaltim has implemented various strategies to keep factory operations running well and smoothly by strictly implementing health protocols. "At the beginning of the pandemic, Pupuk Kaltim moved quickly by forming a Covid-19 Crisis Center Team and establishing guidelines and protocols in various fields, including factory operations," explained Meizar.


Pupuk Kaltim formulated a number of policies to maintain the continuity of the company's business activities in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and to regulate employee work mechanisms through occupational health protocols. The policies are applied comprehensively in each work unit within the company. Pupuk Kaltim keeps maintaining the continuity of production to meet the farmers needs on fertilizer and to support the optimization of national food security.


Moreover, both the conditions the upcoming planting season in all areas of the company's distribution responsibility and the Covid-19 pandemic are the reasons for Pupuk Kaltim's business activities to never stop in order to meet the needs of fertilizer and to maintain the nation's food needs. "With the preparation of internal health protocols, the production process will continue and the realization of targets and responsibilities of the Company to fulfill fertilizers for the planting season can still be achieved," concluded Meizar. (nav)


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