Govt to resume flood-relief funds for farmers in 2024: Minister

id crop failure,floods,bnpb,drought,aid fund,stimulant funds,muhadjir effendy

Govt to resume flood-relief funds for farmers in 2024: Minister

File - A farmer harvests rice in flooded rice fields in Kudus, Central Java, on March 3, 2023. (ANTARA FOTO/Yusuf Nugroho/tom)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The government will resume the provision of stimulant funds of around Rp200 billion (US$1.2 million) to farmers affected by flood-triggered crop failure in 2023, Human Development and Culture Coordinating Minister Muhadjir Effendy said.

"This decision aims to distribute assistance to affected farmers before December 2024, ensuring they can continue producing crops to meet the needs of the population," he said during a ministerial meeting in Jakarta on Monday.

Effendy cited data from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), indicating that floods accounted for 44 percent of the natural disasters recorded during the January–March 2023 period.

He said that during the period, Indonesia experienced 331 floods that led to crop failures over a total area of 5,469 hectares in 136 districts and cities in 20 provinces.

In response to the issue, he added, President Joko Widodo has instructed his aides to prepare assistance for affected farmers.

"Following the instruction, we held a ministerial meeting in May 2023 where we agreed that BNPB would assist farmers with an aid fund of Rp8 million (around US$511) for each affected hectare," he informed.

He noted that the government was unable to distribute assistance to all deserving farmers last year, adding that it will delegate the distribution of aid to state insurance company PT Jasindo this year.

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This year, in addition to farmers affected by floods, aid will also be handed out to farmers hit by drought and pests, he said.

"The Minister of Agriculture suggested that the government provide an aid fund of Rp10 million (US$639) for each hectare affected not only by floods but also by drought and pests. We will further discuss this plan while assessing our fiscal capacity," he added.