Wednesday, 17 July 2019 | 17:21 WIB

Agriculture Ministry Eyes Decreasing Cargo, Production Cost of Horticulture

Agriculture Ministry Eyes Decreasing Cargo, Production Cost of Horticulture (special)

JAKARTA, NNC - The Indonesia Ministry of Agriculture continues to pay attention to maintaining the stability of prices of chilli and shallots at the farm level. The prices of these two commodities tend to affect the inflation of basic commodities.

"The stability of the price of chili and shallots will affect the stable inflation of foodstuffs. On the other hand raises the challenge of finding the right solution so that farmers remain enthusiastic and passionate about planting," said Director of Vegetables and Medicinal Plants M Ismail Wahab through written information on Thursday (7 / 3/2019).

Ismail stressed the need for policies related to cargo costs. "Of course there must be incentives and strategic policies. We continue to try to garner communication with relevant agencies. One of them is to fight for the cargo rates of horticultural transport, especially chili, to be reduced as soon as possible so that inter-island trade returns to normal," he explained.

According to him, the decline in chili prices was due to the retreat of the rainy season in October-November 2018 accompanied by good weather conditions. This will lead to simultaneous harvests in December 2018-February 2019 and result in excess production.

"But unfortunately, the abundance of chili production in the production centers of Java, Lombok and Sulawesi Island cannot be distributed outside the island due to increased cargo costs since the beginning of January 2019. Yes, the chilli has piled up in the central area," Ismail said.

Ismail added, in the future the cost of producing chili and shallots at the farm level must be more efficient.

"How to do it with environmentally friendly cultivation, the use of organic and biological fertilizers and biological pesticides as far as possible is made by themselves. By applying intercropping patterns, it can reduce the cost of chili cultivation to IDR 4,000 per stem. Production increases and costs are efficient, that's what we expect," he said.

In the aspect of management, farmer groups or Gapoktan are encouraged to immediately go up the class by forming cooperatives, even better if they are cooperative cooperatives.

"In terms of our trade system, we encourage the chili auction market. The benefit is that farmers can enjoy the highest prices from existing bidders, pay cash and carry, establish a one price one price regional price and cut the supply chain," said Ismail.

Head of Sub-Directorate of Chili and Vegetable Fruit Mardiyah Hayati confirmed that the price of chili is currently under pressure due to over production and the high cost of inter-island logistic transport.

"Farmers are still constrained by ways to streamline chili picking techniques because the fact is that they still have to be done manually," he said.

While the Head of Bulbs on Vegetables and Onions, Muhammad Agung Sunusi said the price of shallots is generally stable. It is estimated that in March to April 2019 the onion off season in Madura, West Java and East Java will experience harvest.