The Jakarta Post
In a very hands-on approach to inflation control, Bank Indonesia (BI) has introduced farmers in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) to the use of so-called screen houses and the total organic planting method to boost chili harvests.
“Aside from giving added value to farmers, planting chilies outside the growing seasons is also part of our efforts to control inflation,” the bank’s head in the province, Prijono, said on Wednesday.
Due to high consumption, chilies are a significant contributor to inflation in West Nusa Tenggara and other areas of Indonesia. Fluctuating chili prices at markets across the country can be traced back to unstable supplies of the commodity, because many farmers still heavily depend on certain growing seasons.
Prijono said the central bank had recently educated farmers on the use of screen houses and the total organic planting method in a week-long training program in Lendang Nangka village, Masbagik district, East Lombok.
He said BI was involved with several farming groups and around 70 field assistants from the East Lombok Agriculture Agency.
Prijono said Lendang Nangka was one of the chili-growing areas in Lombok. Through its social responsibility program delivered at the end of last year, BI NTB helped build Rp 166 million (US$12,423) worth of horticulture screen houses for farming groups in the village.
The facilities are hoped to support farmers in planting vegetables and horticultural commodities without depending on certain seasons. This could help them achieve sustainable production, which would eventually improve their prosperity, maintain price stability and push down inflation.
“Throughout 2016, bird's eye chili, locally known as rawit, was included in the basket of 10 monthly inflation contributors four times,” said Prijono. (ebf)
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