Agriculture ministry never released its own food data: spokesman

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Ministry of Agriculture has confirmed that it had never released its own food data, considering that all food data, especially rice production, were obtained from the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS).

Regarding reports about an observer who suggested that the data of the ministry should be audited, the ministrys spokesman Kuntoro Boga Andri, explained that his ministry had obtained all of its data from the BPS.

The agency released rice production data according to Law Number 16 of 1997 concerning Statistics.

"The main task and function of the Ministry of Agriculture is producing food and focusing on fulfilling the production. The Ministry of Agriculture does not have juridical responsibility to compile agricultural data," Andri noted when contacted by Antara in Jakarta on Monday.

Andri emphasized that the Ministry of Agriculture was in charge of agricultural production in accordance with Law 39 of 2008 concerning State Ministries and Presidential Regulations (Perpres) Number 45 of 2015 concerning the Ministry of Agriculture.

Therefore, all data are sourced from BPS. However, the newly released BPS data was issued based on the use a new calculation method, namely the Sampling Area Method (KSA).

BPS Release on Improving Methodology Calculation of Rice Production Data with KSA was announced after going through a coordination meeting led by Vice President Jusuf Kalla.

With the KSA approach, BPS has corrected its previous estimates of rice production that had been used by the Ministry of Agriculture.

BPS added that Indonesia had a surplus of rice of 2.85 million tons this year.

Based on the calculation of harvested area, it is estimated that the production of Dry Grain (GKG) was estimated at 49.65 million tons by September 2018.

Until the end of the year, it is estimated that the total production of GKG in 2018 will reach 56.54 million tons, equivalent to 32.42 million tons of husked rice.

But when observers in the agricultural development in the country provided an assessment, the new BPS data made the Ministry of Agriculture face a dilemma.

This is because the improvement in production data will lead to many things related to policy and budget accountability, programs, and assessment of the ministrys performance.

Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman, on the previous occasion, called on all parties to stop the polemic on the food data, after the release of the BPS rice production data, which is based on a new approach calculation.

Source: ANTARA News

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