Indonesia requests military assistance in rice plantation

In light of the terrible drought that is being fueled by the El Niño weather phenomena, the president of Indonesia has issued an order of assistance to the military in order to assist farmers in planting rice.

Army officers were instructed by Joko Widodo to make use of the recent rains that has occurred in certain provinces in order to assist with the planting endeavour.

An extended period of drought has resulted in a decrease in the production of the staple crop of the most populated country in South East Asia. Imports have surged as a result of high costs, which has put food security at risk.

Agricultural production of rice, which is typically carried out in October, has fallen behind schedule in Indonesia as a result of months of dry weather.

The nation's output for this year was 30.9 million tonnes, which is a decrease from the previous year's total of 31.53 million tonnes.

President Joko Widodo broadcast a video on social media. Wednesday, while he was in the Pekalongan regency in central Java. In the video, he urged the military to come forward and assist farmers with the planting of seeds.

Rice seedlings that are grown in semi-aquatic environments require constant irrigation throughout the growing season.

Mr. Widodo stated that their goal is to encourage farmers to begin planting rice in order to take advantage of the rainfall that has occurred in some provinces. As the president stood next to a paddy field that had just been planted, he remarked, "It has been delayed owing to El Niño, but we want to immediately plant, plant, plant."

South East Asia is often affected by El Niño, which results in weather that is hotter and drier, resulting in a decrease in production in major producing and consuming countries.

Julius Widjojono, a spokesman for the army, stated that many rice farms were experiencing a shortage of workers due to the fact that young people were moving to cities to work in industries in order to earn higher earnings. Therefore, despite the fact that some farmers have land, they do not have enough people to work it.

At the same time that men may be dispatched from adjacent military units, Mr. Widjojono stated that his officers could evaluate the workforce that would be required for planting.

Global rice prices have increased by as much as 45%, reaching their highest level in 15 years. This increase is a direct result of El Niño and India's recent decision to prohibit the export of non-Basmati white rice. India is the world's foremost exporter of rice.

Amran Sulaiman, the Minister of Agriculture, stated that the participation of the armed forces in the past had assisted Indonesia in achieving food self-sufficiency from the beginning. According to him, their collaboration has the potential to assist the nation in lowering its rice imports.

The agriculture ministry and the Indonesian army entered into a memorandum of understanding earlier this month. The stipulation is that idle army-owned land shall be utilised for rice plantation by military personnel, with the ministry providing seedlings and apparatus.

This year, 3.5 million tonnes of rice were allocated for import by the state procurement company Bulog, elevating Indonesia to the forefront of rice importers.