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Indonesian ministry proposes US$69m stimulus for fisheries, aquaculture

Indonesian ministry proposes US$69m stimulus for fisheries, aquaculture

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INFOFISH

Monday, 01 June 2020 13:16

The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry has proposed

a US$69 million stimulus package to aid small scale fishermen and aquaculture farmers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Minister said the stimulus would include social aid for fishermen, fish farmers and salt farmers and funds to strengthen surveillance efforts against poaching. The stimulus package, which was proposed during the meeting, will provide Rp 413.27 billion in funds for fishermen and Rp 406.55 billion to aid aquaculture farmers.

It also includes Rp 36.07 billion for fish processors and marketeers, Rp 54.1 billion for salt farmers, Rp 106.48 billion to strengthen poaching surveillance and Rp 8 billion for internal audits.

The government has been working to ensure a secure supply of staple food across the country amid disruptions in production and logistics as a result of the pandemic.

Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data show the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector contributed 12.84 % of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter, the third-largest contributor after manufacturing industry and trade.

Minister also said state-owned fishery companies PT Perikanan Nusantara (Perinus) and PT Perikanan Indonesia (Perindo) were preparing proposals for around Rp 500 billion each in state capital injections (PMN). The two companies are tasked with buying fishery and aquaculture products to boost demand.

Furthermore, the minister also urged state-owned banks and financial institutions to provide loans for aquaculture farmers.

The government has allocated Rp 34 trillion in loan interest subsidies and loan-payment relaxations for farmers and fishermen through the microcredit program (KUR) and the government's UMi and Mekaar programs, among others.

Separately, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) environment and development director Stefanos Fotiou said that countries should focus on helping poor coastal communities affected by the negative impact of the pandemic.

The government has projected that up to 3.78 million Indonesians will fall into poverty amid the pandemic, according to its worst-case scenario. That adds to the 24.79 million people who already lived in poverty last year.

Fishermen’s average income have fallen sharply to a range of Rp 1 million to Rp 1.5 million per month from Rp 3 million to Rp 5 million as a result of the pandemic, according to the Office of the Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment’s human resource development, science and maritime culture deputy.

The pandemic is also expected to result in a decline of around 8 percent in production and prices, undoing an upward trend in the previous two years.

Source: June 1,2020   Source: The Jakarta Post

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