JAKARTA, NNC - The Ministry of Agriculture for four years under the leadership of Andi Amran Sulaiman continued to encourage modernization in the agricultural sector. Providing assistance for agricultural machinery and equipment (Alsintan) continues to be encouraged in an effort to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of agricultural cultivation.
"The use of Alsintan as an effort to improve agricultural modernization is believed to be able to increase farming efficiency by 35 - 48 percent," said Director General of Agricultural Infrastructure and Facilities (PSP) Pending Dadih Permana, during a presentation on the Four Year Directorate General of PSP at a talk show on Indonesian Agriculture in Cilandak, South Jakarta, Thursday (11/23/2018).
Ministry of Agriculture encourages modernization of agricultural activities as a whole, including land processing activities, planting, harvesting, and processing agricultural products. This step is believed to be able to overcome the problem of limited labor in the agricultural sector and also contribute to increasing farmers' income.
"At present there is a global trend, not only in Indonesia, agricultural labor is decreasing, the interest of the younger generation is also decreasing. Of course we have to boost the modernization of agriculture," said Pending.
In an effort to develop agricultural mechanization, Ministry of Agriculture through the Directorate General of PSP has distributed around 350 thousand units of agricultural machinery and equipment assistance. The assistance consists of two-wheel tractors, four-wheel tractors, water pumps, rice transplanters, choppers, cultivators, excavators, hand sprayers, corn planting tools, and semi-manual corn planting tools.
"Assistance is directly given to farmer groups, some are located in the agricultural service to be utilized in the Alsintan brigade program," said Pending.
The agricultural modernization movement also expanded to swamp development. Based on data from the Data Center on Swamp and Tidal Regions, Indonesia has a potential of swamp land of 33.4 million hectares consisting of tidal land of 20.1 million hectares and swamp of 13.3 million hectares. Of these, Pending added, an area of 9.3 million ha is estimated to be suitable for development as an agricultural cultivation area.
"The potential for swamps in Indonesia that can be developed into productive agricultural land is very broad. If this potential can be managed intensively and utilize appropriate technology, swamp land can be an alternative that is able to make a major contribution to the rise in national food production in the future," he said.
Efforts to use swamp land with a pattern of land optimization have been initiated since 2016. In 2016, DG of PSP has carried out optimization activities of 3,999 hectares of swamps, then in 2017 covering an area of 3,529 hectares, and in 2018 16,400 hectares have been realized as of November 5, 2018.
In 2019, the Ministry of Agriculture through the Directorate General of PSP is planned to develop swamps of 500 thousand hectares spread across Kalimantan, Sumatra and Sulawesi.