To support food security through increasing agricultural productivity, Pupuk Kaltim initiated the Agro-Solution program by utilizing agricultural areas with the concept of a sustainable partnership alliance in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Provincial Government of West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) and multi-parties stakeholders.
The collaboration was marked by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Commercial Director of Pupuk Kaltim Gatoet Gembiro Noegroho and the General Director of Food Crops of Agriculture Ministry, Suwandi, Head of NTB Agriculture and Plantation Service Husnul Fauzi and Alliance Stakeholders Partners, witnessed by the Indonesian Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo and NTB Governor Zulkieflimansyah, at the Great Harvest of Rice Commodities in Central Lombok, on Sunday (23/8).
Gatoet said that agro solution was initiated as a strategy to increase farmers' loyalty to Pupuk Kaltim products through mentoring, as well as facilitating the benefit access besides fertilizers to increase crop yields and to raise farmer’s welfare. Through the application of agro solutions, the main challenges of food security, such as uncontrolled land conversion, degradation of soil quality, and limited agricultural infrastructure, can be properly resolved. This collaboration also involves a number of parties, such as banking, agricultural insurance and offtaker, in order to support agricultural productivity with a more significant increase in yields. “With multi-stakeholder synergy, farmers' access to fulfill agricultural needs is also facilitated and expanded, as a holistic service benefit for farmers, ”said Gatoet.
In this program, Pupuk Kaltim allocated a budget of IDR 261.45 million for the implementation of agro-solution demonstration plots in 63 locations spread throughout the NTB region. The development was carried out after the pilot project and trial application of agro-solutions succeeded in increasing the productivity of NTB farmers' rice in 3 districts, including Bima Regency on an area of 400 hectares (ha), with a partnership profit of IDR 22.5 million/ha from the previous of IDR 9.2 million/ha or an increase of 144%. Furthermore, in Dompu district, the partnership profit productivity was achieved at IDR 39.9 million/ha from IDR 24.4 million/ha with a land area of 5.5 ha or an increase of about 63% than usual. Then in East Lombok district, with a land area of 20 ha it managed to increase profits by 98%, from the previous IDR 11.8 million/ha to IDR 23.5 million/ha.
Farmers not only get capital to get seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, but also insurance to anticipate losses when crop failures. Likewise, sales of production products are also facilitated to offtakers at a price higher than the market price scheme. "Including intensive field monitoring by the partnership extension team from the local government and companies, especially for balanced fertilization patterns, land management and application of agricultural technology," explained Gatoet.
On the same occasion, Pupuk Kaltim Partnership Manager, Muhammad Burmansyah, was also optimistic that this program would be able to increase the competitive advantage of agricultural products, as well as create productive communities along the agricultural supply chain, to increase food availability according to market needs. "From the farmer's point of view, it can increase the added value of crops with the availability of infrastructure, distribution networks up to offtaker," added Burman.
The Indonesian Minister of Agriculture, Syahrul Yasin Limpo, positively welcomed the sustainable agricultural partnership alliance through agro solutions. He is optimistic that this program can strengthen agricultural productivity in NTB, in order to increase its contribution to national food security. This certainly can also be applied to other provinces, and also supports government programs to improve the welfare of farmers.
Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, agriculture is one of the sectors that continue to grow positively. Therefore, the Government continues to strive to boost the performance of the agricultural sector to save the national economy where the agricultural sector is able to contribute up to 2.54% nationally up to US $ 0.35 billion based on the Farmers Exchange Rate (NTP) in July 2020. Even when other sectors have decreased, agricultural exports actually increases up to 24.1% compared to June 2020 and 11.17% compared to July 2019. “We must develop agriculture firmly and I want this synergy is continuous. Moreover, NTB has various strategic commodities that support national food security, so it is necessary to make some efforts to strengthen agriculture, "said Syahrul. (* / ram / nav)