Government should ensure availability of subsidized fertilizer stocks: MP

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Jakarta (ANTARA) – Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives (DPR RI), Muhaimin Iskandar has urged the government to ensure the availability of subsidized fertilizers to ease the burden on farmers due to their rising prices.

“The sudden rise in the price of unsubsidized fertilizers has caused further problems related to the backlog of production and rising food prices,” Iskandar noted in his statement here on Wednesday.

To help local farmers, mitigation measures as a precautionary measure against a likely shortage of subsidized fertilizers due to the fertilizer cartel that seeks to profit from the increase in the price of unsubsidized fertilizers should also be devised, did he declare.

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In addition, the Vice President urged the government to consider providing incentives to domestic fertilizer producers who are forced to increase the cost of their products as the price of imported fertilizers has recently increased.

“Government needs to optimize its monitoring of the process of distribution of subsidized fertilizer to farmers and review existing issues to devise measures to address the uneven and delayed distribution of subsidized fertilizer,” Iskandar noted.

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He also suggested the government assess and re-verify the data of subsidized fertilizer recipients to ensure that the subsidy is distributed only to eligible farmers.

Earlier, Kusnan, director of the National Seed Center of the Indonesian Peasant Union (SPI), noted that price hikes of unsubsidized fertilizers had reduced the potential income of farmers nationwide.

Rising fertilizer prices have consequently prevented farmers’ terms of trade in 2021 from breaking even, he added.

The head of the center noted that a 50kg bag of urea fertilizer priced at Rp265-280,000 (US$18.55-19.6) at the end of 2020 had risen to Rp380. 000 Rp (26.6 USD) in November 2021 and had exceeded 480,000 Rp (33.6 USD) by the end of December 2021.

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