In order to optimize the resources of the agricultural sector while at the same time encouraging more competitive farmer independence, Pupuk Kaltim implemented an agro-solution program in North Sulawesi, after a similar program was implemented in West Nusa Tenggara. The agro-solution program is the utilization of the agricultural area with the concept of a sustainable partnership, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Provincial Government of North Sulawesi and multi-stakeholders.
This collaboration was marked by the signing of a Memorandum of Declaration of Mutual Support performed by the Project Manager for the Development of Horticultural Retail Marketing and Partnership of Pupuk Kaltim Supriyoto, witnessed by the Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo and the Regional Secretary of North Sulawesi Province Edwin Silangen on Sunday (30/8).
President Director of Pupuk Kaltim Rahmad Pribadi said that agro-solution was initiated as a strategy to improve the loyalty of farmers to Pupuk Kaltim's fertilizer products through assistance as well as facilitate the benefits other than fertilizers so as to increase harvest yields and encourage farmers' welfare. "The implementation of agro-solution is spread across 10 locations throughout North Sulawesi," said Rahmad Pribadi.
According to him, the agro-solution could be a solution for the food security program intensified by the Government, starting from land conversion, decreasing land quality until limited agricultural infrastructures. This collaborative work involved a number of parties, such as banking, agricultural insurance and offtakers, in order to support agricultural productivity with a more significant increase in yield.
This program was initiated to help solve the classic problems faced by traditional farmers due to their various reasons and limitations. One of them is the access limitation to obtain working capital because there is no network to banking as well as the lack of o supervision and technological control in carrying out the cultivation of plants, starting from land preparation to harvesting. "For this reason, Pupuk Kaltim is present through this program as an agro-solution as well as an instrument for Company policy to mobilize resources in the agricultural sector, increase farmer productivity with maximum results as well as provide the understanding that farming is a part of business activities," explained Rahmad.
Agro solution is different from the Demonstration Plot (Demplot) that has been implemented by Pupuk Kaltim. It is because of the nature of cooperation involving stakeholders from various parties, consisting of Pupuk Kaltim as the initiator, official distributors of Pupuk Kaltim, banks, local Government up to offtakers as a guarantee for the purchase of a long-term agricultural production. "Demplot is purely implemented independently by Pupuk Kaltim without collaborating with other parties. This program, however, involves many parties," he continued.
Pupuk Kaltim sees that the farmer limitations in increasing agricultural products are caused by various factors, such as a lack of capital for the purchase of fertilizers up to their limited knowledge to optimally manage the land and crops. Therefore, with this program, Pupuk Kaltim facilitates farmers with a number of parties involved to support the planting period.
He gave an example, for financing the procurement of fertilizers from the beginning of planting period, Pupuk Kaltim provides solutions by connecting farmers with distributors for supply certainty with an agreement that the payment is made when harvesting and the capital required can be accessed quickly. In addition, farmers are also linked with banking or other sources of funding for the convenience of capital, such as Kredit Usaha Rakyat (KUR) and paid when harvesting. "As well as for assistance, Pupuk Kaltim is involved, starting from land preparation through land analysis, processing and balanced fertilization, followed by the assistance of selecting seeds until the harvest process, with the support from Field Agricultural Instructor (PPL) of the Regional Government for agricultural technology applications, " said Rahmad.
Provincial Secretary of North Sulawesi, Edwin Silangen, said that Agriculture was a reliability sector to maintain economic security in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Although the range of commodities were plummeting, the agricultural sector was still able to show positive growth and able to withstand the general economic decline.
Based on the data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), as of July 2020, agriculture grew by 24.1% (month-to-month) nationally. Especially in Sulawesi itself, in the second quarter of 2020, agricultural fields grew by 2%. "In the second quarter of 2020 agricultural fields still grew 2%. Agriculture is able to sustain general economic decline, "said Silangen.
Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture Yasin Limpo appreciated the great potential of the agricultural sector in North Sulawesi and ensured that he continued to work together with various parties for the development of all the agricultural potentials. "Like corn that grows fertile although it is dry right now in North Sulawesi," said Minister of Agriculture Yasin Limpo.
He added that the Ministry of Agriculture had been making various efforts to increase production so as to achieve self-sufficiency in soybeans, corn and plantation commodities in North Sulawesi as an active step in encouraging productivity and meeting national needs, including providing support for production, pre and post-harvest facilities, as well as encouraging farmers to use Kredit Usaha Rakyat (KUR) and corporate and cluster-based agricultural development. "Another important effort is the development of high-yield superior seed varieties. We increase our productivity so that the production is surplus, imports decrease and exports increase. Don't rely on imports. Let's prepare food from North Sulawesi, "said Minister of Agriculture. (* / nav)