KEEPING SERGAI AS THE RICE BARN
Serdang Bedagai Regency is the rice producing region in North Sumatra Province, covering a farming area of 40.613 hectares and in 2005, the rice production number achieved 194.881 tons and underwent a surplus of 113.701 tons of rice. This condition will be maintained with the intensification of farming technology, like Legowo 4,1 planting system, breeding rice integration system (SIPT) and the increase of horticultural commodity production. This statement came from the Regent of Serdang Bedagai, H.T. Erry Nuradi at the first harvesting time of Ciherang in Bingkat Village, Perbaungan District, at the end of last June. The event which also included the discussion between the farmers with the Regent, attended by the vice Regent H. Soekirman, the assistant II of the Development Economy Ir. Safaruddin, the head of breeding and farming Department of Serdang Bedagai Regency Ir. Mega Hadi, the head of the Public Service Department of Sergai Ir. Yusran Safri, the members of the Regional Legislatives of Sergai, Syahrizul Herlack and Herry Zulmi, SH, as well as hundreds of farmers. The Regent said that Sergai’s potential for expanding the agricultural sector was great enough, supported by the agro climate, the topography, and the number of population of whom sixty percents earned their living in agro business.
The food problem, especially the rice, is a national problem and until now the rice agro business has not gone well as expected. The experience suggests that the lack of food can affect not only the economics stability, but also the politics and the security. While the agricultural sector faces the problems related to the welfare, food supply, facility and equipment, investment, human resource, institution, market access, and technology in running the agro business. The rice plant has the most problems and obstacles, like pre-harvesting technology (irrigation, superior seeds, manure, and disease pest), post harvesting capital, and the uncertain selling price of husk. The data from District Farming Instructor (PPK) of Perbaungan suggest that the result of Ciherang rice harvested once achieves 8.064 kg/ha, and from the production, the farmers get a gross income of 16.934.400 rupiahs with the husk’s selling price of Rp. 2.100/kg. The farmers’ net income is 11.562.400 rupiahs after being reduced for Saprodi cost, labor cost, and others of Rp. 5.372.000/one planting period.