The food estate is expected to reach optimum production by 2022, PUPR Minister Basuki Hadimuljono noted in a statement here on Wednesday.
"We will start the revitalization program in 2020 until 2022. By 2022, optimum production is expected to be reached in some 165 thousand hectares of land," the minister remarked.
According to Hadimuljono, food estate development has become the second priority in the National Strategic Program 2020-2024 after the development of five strategic tourist destinations of Lake Toba, Borobudur, Mandalika, Labuan Bjo, and Manado-Likupang.
President Joko Widodo has tasked the ministry with developing the food estate that is expected to become a new food barn outside Java Island.
The ministry has decided to develop the food estate in Pulang Pisau District in Central Kalimantan Province, with alluvial soil at the site of the failed mega-peatland development project (PLG).
The PLG project, launched by the late president Suharto in 1995 as a means to guarantee Indonesia's rice self-sufficiency, devastated a huge area of peat-swamp forests in the province.
The State Enterprises Ministry and Agriculture Ministry will jointly develop the food estate.
The PUPR Ministry will develop its basic facilities including revitalization of the irrigation system, while the State Enterprises Ministry and the Agriculture Ministry will develop farming technology to boost production.
Of the total 165 thousand hectares (ha) of land, 85,500 ha have been utilized as productive land, while some 79,500 ha were abandoned and covered in bushes.
However, only 28,300 ha of the productive land still has a good irrigation system. Hence, the ministry will have to rehabilitate the irrigation network in the remaining 57,200 ha of land.
The rehabilitation project, to be conducted in stages from 2020 to 2022, will cover an area of 1,210 ha in 2020, 33,335 ha in 2021, and 22,655 ha in 2022, with budget totaling Rp497.2 billion.
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