Saturday, January 03, 2009

And fertilizers should follow suit?

Further to my post below, I should mention about fertilizers, too.

Kompas also had an article on fertilizers in the same day (2/1/2009). It argued that the government should guarantee a sufficient subsidy on fertilizers for each farmer. The MoA's regulation that those eligible for such subsidy are farmers registered in a 'farmers group' and fill out a specific form, was deemed insufficient.

According to Kompas calculation, with the current budget allocation for fertilizer subsidy (ie to provide subsidized fertilizer of 4.3 million tons in 2008, against a demand of 5.8 million tons; for 2009 the numbers are 5.5 million and 5.82 million tons, respectively) is not enough. The newspaper went on to project these numbers on a unfertilized paddy area of as much as 1.2 million hectares (assuming a 250 kg/hectare fertilizer). That would mean 4 million small farmers (those with area less than 0.34 hectare per family) would not get subsidized fertilizers.

And here goes the typical Kompas' provocation: "If those 4 million farmers go on strike in front of the House office, it is more than enough to shake up the capital city".

Ah. So next time you hear the term 'rice self-sufficiency', just be advised that it means sufficiency with all kinds of subsidy, from fertilizers to paddy to rice. In other words: false sufficiency.

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