Government establishes food estate in East Nusa Tenggara

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President Joko Widodo. (Photo: Biro Pers Istana)

IO – The Government is establishing large-scale food estate (5,000 hectares) in the District of Katiku Tana, Regency of Central Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara. This land is prepared for the purpose of improving our food security. This food estate is the latest among several similar initiatives in Indonesia. Previous Government food estates were constructed in the Regency of Kapuas and Regency of Pulang Pisau, Central Kalimantan, and in the Regency of Humbang Hasundutan in North Sumatra.

The food estate project during Jokowi’s second term is meant to strengthen our national food reserve. It is important to maintain food security and food supply chain from production to distribution to all cor ners of Indonesia. “I believe that if we do this, the food estates in Central Kalimantan, in North Sumatra, and also in East Nusa Tenggara will generate strong food security for our country. We will copy this project in other provinces that are ready for it.

For now, we plan to build it in Papua and South Sumatra as well,” Jokowi declared.

The Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, also empowers local citizens in the establishment of food estates through the job-intense processing and clearing of 3,650 hectares of land. The Ministry is also requested to provide aid in the form of agricultural equipment, which the people sorely need.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated that the Government only prepares 5,000 hectares for food estate in the Regency of Central Sumba. Of the total 5,000 hectares of land available, 3,000 hectares will be planted with rice and the remaining 2,000 hectares will be planted with corn. “We plan to expand to another 10,000 hectares in the future, with the division of 5,600 hectares to be used for rice and 4,400 for corn,” he said during his visit to the Central Sumba food estate on Tuesday (23/02/2021).

The President states that the Government established Central Sumba food estate because of the high level

of poverty in the area, at 34%. Fur thermore, Central Sumba still only harvests rice once a year so far. “That is why we seek to improve the management so that we can harvest rice twice a year and harvest corn or soybeans once a year,” he said.

The President elaborates that the main problem here is the supply of water, both raw water and irrigation, faced by the entire province of East Nusa Tenggara. “The key is water. Therefore, in 2015-2018 we have constructed drilled wells to water rice and crop fields, as well as reser voirs. We have even constructed big reservoirs here. However, it is far from being enough, it is still insufficient. Even just now the Regent requests more reservoirs, while the Governor too requests one dam for Central Sumba and surrounding areas,” he said. “Therefore, the Government plans to satisfy their request and plan to construct a dam. I have ordered the Minister of Public Works and People’s housing to see the possibility of constructing a weir or dam, as well as additional reservoirs and drilled wells.”