Banjarmasin (ANTARA News) - Minister of Agriculture, Amran Sulaiman, has proclaimed the optimization of 67 thousand hectares of swampland in Barito Kuala district, South Kalimantan, to support national food security.

According to Sulaiman, in Banjarmasin on Thursday, the Ministry of Agriculture (Kementan) has announced the optimization of one million hectares of swamplands and tidelands in nine provinces.

The nine provinces include Riau, North Kalimantan, South Sumatra, South Kalimantan, Jambi, Papua, and Central Kalimantan.

Especially in South Kalimantan, land optimization covers an area of 67 thousand hectares and is done with the help of the central government.

In order to realize these efforts, the Ministry of Agriculture has handed over 40 units of excavators, with each weighing 20 tons. Each machine is worth Rp2 billion.

In addition to fertilizers and seeds, Kementan will also distribute pumping machines of 200-hectare capacity. Other needs will be borne by the regional governments of South Kalimantan Province and Barito Kuala District.

The cost of optimizing swamplands is around Rp3 million per hectare, and for tidelands, it is Rp4 million per hectare," he explained.

Prior to the optimization of swamplands and tidelands, Kementan proclaimed opening rice farms on idle lands, at a cost of about Rp16 million per hectare, to boost the additional planting area (LTT).

Sulaiman estimated that swampland optimization will generate Rp60 trillion; by calculation, the cropping index reaches three times a year on one million hectares of land.

Sulaiman is optimistic that the productivity will reach 6-7 tons per hectare by referring to a pilot project in Ogan Ilir, South Sumatra, where the initial productivity was 2-3 tons per hectare, followed by seven tons per hectare during the third growing season.

On the other hand, the optimization of swampland is also aimed at maintaining food sovereignty to up to 100 years into the future.
(Uu.A014 /INE/KR-BSR/A014)

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Editor: Priyambodo RH
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