PEMALANG, NNC -- The Ministry of Agriculture continues to make breakthroughs to increase rice production for the availability of rice at all times and stable prices. Through the Special Efforts Program to Increase Rice, Corn and Soybean Production (Upsus Pajale), the Ministry of Agriculture implements a methuk system (separating areas for nursery and planting) to increase the added planting area (LTT) of paddy.
"This methuk system succeeded in increasing paddy LTT in Pemalang for the period October 2017-September 2018 covering an area of 100,343 hectares or a surplus by 9,960 hectares compared to the same period in October 2016-September 2017 covering 90,383 hectares," said PIC of Upsus Pajale of the Central Java Province, who is also Director General of Horticulture, Suwandi at the Coordination Meeting who at the same time gave an award to Pemalang Regency for reaching the first place in Central Java in achieving paddy LTT, in Pemalang on Saturday (11/3/2018).
"The award was also given to the three high-performing sub-districts of paddy LTT at the tegency level, namely Bantarbolang Sub-district, Taman Sub-district and Warungpring Sub-district," he continued.
Suwandi explained this achievement was due to the breakthrough of pumping and the planting pattern by the methuk system, by seedlings and planting early. So the interval from harvest to planting is at most two weeks.
The three outstanding sub-districts along with Pemalang Military District Command (Kodim) 0711 were also rewarded with the assistance of cayenne seeds which were immediately handed over to the District Extension Coordinator and Pemalang Military District Commander.
"This seed prize is to provide fighting spirit to continue to improve its performance," said Suwandi.
Suwandi added that besides boosting rice production, it is expected to continue to boost production of other superior commodities such as pineapple, mango and jasmine flowers, which are export commodities.
"Ministry of Agriculture continues to supervise and assist from upstream to downstream so as to boost exports," he admitted.
According to the Head of the Pemalang Regency Agriculture Service Suharto, based on the latest data, the paddy fields declined by around 8,000 hectares from 38,000 to around 30,000 hectares.
However, this condition does not reduce people's enthusiasm to succeed the government program, which is to support the expansion of rice cultivation in particular so that it can achieve such achievements today.
"For us, this is an opportunity by applying the strategy by encouraging farmers to carry out the methuk system so that before the harvest, the seedlings have been planted in another location thus the location which is ready for harvesting can be immediately processed for planting [again] because the seeds are ready," he said.
In addition, continued Suharto, the Pemalang agricultural service continued to encourage farmers to implement Gogo Rice (which is tolerant to dry land) and intercropping on dry land. This strategy was successfully carried out by providing pumping support on the dry land.
"As a result, it is able to irrigate dry land and intercropping," he said.