Jabar Ekspres – Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo said that during the last three years, Indonesia and other countries in the world have been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the agricultural sector has become the cushion or support for the national economy.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, only the agricultural sector is growing, this is not the Ministry of Agriculture who made the data but BPS,” said Syahrul Yasin Limpo in Padang, Saturday.
This was conveyed by the Minister at the opening of the XVI Penas Tani which was centered at the Sutan Sjahrir Airfield (Lanud), Padang City, West Sumatra from 10 to 15 June 2023.
Considering that agriculture is the only sector that grows during the COVID-19 pandemic, Syahrul Yasin Limpo expressed his gratitude to governors, regents, mayors, especially farmers and fishermen throughout Indonesia for helping save the national economy.
“The President expressed his gratitude because we (agriculture) can be an economic cushion and make Indonesia the best country in facing the turbulence of COVID-19,” he said.
In fact, based on data, the value of Indonesia’s exports has also increased dramatically by around six percent or from Rp300 trillion to Rp665 trillion, said the 2001 recipient of the President’s Satyalancana for Development.
In his speech, the former 7th Governor of South Sulawesi said the head of state also appealed to and encouraged local governments not to rely solely on the state budget and regional budget in advancing the agricultural sector.
Regional governments at both the provincial and district and city levels must be able to cooperate with Bank Himbara to advance agriculture through the people’s business credit (KUR) mechanism.
“KUR is the President’s program and has received world recognition so it must be utilized,” he said.
In 2020, KUR funds used by the agricultural sector reached Rp55 trillion, and only 0.03 percent of payments were in default. This means that farmers in Indonesia can be trusted to use existing funds in banks.