The government reduced most of the commodities that were previously included in the subsidized fertilizer scheme to 9 commodities only. Previously, the government regulated subsidized fertilizers for more than 70 commodities.
Although the number reduced, the government continues to provide fertilizer subsidies. Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo claimed that other countries could not be like Indonesia.
“Sri Lanka has fallen, the problem is with fertilizers, the US government has revoked all fertilizer subsidies, Indonesia hasn’t. The president said that fertilizers are still needed, you don’t need to give them, just make them effective, avoid leaks, simplify fertilizer types according to what is most needed, urea for fertility, NPK for the offspring,” said Syahrul in the webinar of the Directorate General of Food Crops Monday (8/8/22).
The food crop sub-sectors entitled to subsidized fertilizers consist of rice, corn, and soybeans. The horticulture sub-sector consists of chili, shallots, and garlic. Then the plantation sub-sector consists of smallholder sugarcane, cocoa, and coffee.
This is stated in the Minister of Agriculture Regulation (Permentan) Number 10/2022 concerning Procedures for Redemption of Allocations and Highest Retail Prices of Subsidized Fertilizers in the Agricultural Sector.
The government has also prepared a large budget to support this strategic program, amounting to Rp. 25 trillion, and it is targeted to reach 16 million farmers. The high cost of this subsidy cannot be separated from the high cost of world fertilizers.
“In Ukraine-Russia, the world’s largest fertilizer supplier has the largest potassium phosphate and fertilizer prices in the world have increased 3-5 times from the current price because connectivity issues do not run normally in this world,” said Syahrul.
On the other hand, the new regulation on subsidized fertilizer has an impact on thousands of pond farmers in Lamongan Regency, East Java.
Certainly, the farmers do not receive subsidized fertilizers. Meanwhile, the need for fertilizer for farmers is quite high.
“You can imagine how the fate of the farmers in Lamongan will be with the government’s decision to only focus on 9 strategic staple food commodities. What is clear is that the farmers are not included,” said Head of the Fish Cultivation Group, Sumber Mulyo, Monday (8/8/2022).
In the government’s decision on subsidized fertilizers, Yusuf said that the recipients of subsidized fertilizers are farmers with a maximum land area of 2 hectares and must be members of farmer groups.
This subsidized fertilizer is also only devoted to 9 strategic staple food commodities, namely rice, corn, soybeans, chili, shallots, cocoa, people’s sugarcane, and garlic.
“Well that’s clear, farmers are not included in the recipients of subsidized fertilizers,” he said.
In fact, Yusuf said, the need for fertilizer for ponds is very large, it can be three times that of rice planting land.
In the new regulations related to subsidized fertilizers, it remains the same, namely, urea and NPK fertilizers that are distributed to farmers
“Farmers are also the same, need SP36 fertilizer as well as urea,” he said.
Lamongan farmer coordinator hopes that the Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs will immediately accommodate the need for subsidized fertilizers for the aquaculture sector by making a ministerial regulation.