Merauke, – After meeting with the Acting The Governor of South Papua along with members of the Regional Leadership Coordination Forum of South Papua Province, religious leaders, and Merauke community leaders, Vice President (VP) K. H. Ma’ruf Amin and the entourage left to the next leg of the visit, which was to visit and greet the farmers in Semangga Jaya Village, Semangga District, Merauke, South Papua Province, Wednesday (30/11/2022).

On this occasion, the VP listened to the aspirations, input and suggestions of farmers in Merauke, such as the constraints presented by the Chairperson of the Semangga District Farmers Association (Gapoktan), Aceng, who stated that the scarcity of fuel was an obstacle in the farming process he was working on.

“Our obstacle as farmers in this regency is fuel, Excellency. Our agricultural system is fully mechanical, from tillage, pumping, to harvesting, we use machines. So, that’s where we need fuel,” explained Aceng.

Aceng added that there is a need for more Fuel Filling Stations (SPBU) in Merauke to support the work of farmers.

“Please have gas stations for the agricultural sector, especially in Merauke Regency,” added Aceng.
Responding to this, the VP said that the government would consider the proposed gas station procurement and would adjust it to the needs of the farmers in Merauke.

“Regarding fuel suggestions to support [activities], this will be adjusted later by the government. The possibility will be considered,” replied the VP.

On the other hand, the second aspiration came from the Head of the Merauke Regency Mainstay Farmers-Fishermen Contact Group, Sukarmin. According to Sukarmin, so far farmers have had very high production costs, which have resulted in their capital expenditure not being balanced with the yields they get. For this reason, Sukarmin hopes that the Highest Retail Price (HRP) of rice can be increased.

“We as rice farmers in Merauke Regency, please increase the highest retail price of rice,” said Sukarmin.

Regarding the HRP, the VP explained that careful consideration was needed in determining the price. For this reason, the government will continue to strive to provide the best and most profitable solutions for all parties, especially regarding product prices in the community.

“Regarding the retail price, there are indeed many components that must be deliberated and prices must also be controlled, so we don’t want to increase prices,” explained the VP.

“The government is always looking for the safest price, we are looking for [solutions] so that production costs are not high,” he added.

Concluding the dialogue, the VP reiterated that all people’s aspirations are an important concern of the government. Thus, all input will be noted properly and become material for discussion to determine policies that make the people prosperous.

“Issues and problems raised by farmers will become the government’s attention. We will hear what the actual problem is, which requires attention from the government,” concluded the VP.

On the same occasion, the VP also handed over assistance from the National Amil Zakat Agency (BAZNAS) which was given to 75 representatives of farmers from Semangga Jaya Village, Merauke Regency, South Papua Province who were present, in the form of Inpari Nutri Zinc rice field inbred seeds to be given to the Joint Group Farmers (Gapoktan) Bina Tani Merauke in the amount of 2,500 kg and Gapoktan Wahana Tani Merauke in the amount of 3,125 kg.

For information, Semangga Jaya Village, Semangga District is one of the agricultural production centers in Merauke Regency, South Papua Province. The agricultural land is 63 thousand hectares with an average production of five to six tons per hectare of agricultural products that can be harvested. (NN/LHS -BPMI Setwapres)