Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has justified his decision to task Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto with leading the implementation of the national food estate program in Central Kalimantan.

"Defense does not only concern 'alutsista' (primary weaponry defense system) but also boosting resilience in the food sector, which is part of it. The defense minister has already submitted the cost calculations and the amount of budget required to develop a food estate in Kapuas and Pulang Pisau," Jokowi stated at a meeting with several mass media representatives at the Merdeka Palace here on Monday.

The Ministry of Defense is the leading sector in building food reserves. It is responsible for enhancing resilience for food security.

On July 9, 2020, the president, Subianto, and several other relevant ministers had visited the locations for the food estate development program in Kapuas District and Belanti Siam Village in Pulang Pisau District.

The districts have some 10 thousand hectares of land to be developed into a food estate.

"Yesterday, I told you that the food estate development is being conducted in response to an FAO’s (Food and Agriculture Organization’s) warning of a global food crisis. Hence, we need to take precautionary measures quickly by preparing strategic food reserves," the head of state noted.

Although the defense minister would lead the food estate project, the Ministry of Agriculture will support it.

"The minister of agriculture will back it. Other agricultural and food related matters still come under the authority of the agriculture minister," President Jokowi noted.

In 2020, at least 30 thousand hectares of land will be made available for the project, and the land size will further be expanded within the next two years.

The head of state expounded that the land area for the food estate project is not peat land but alluvial soil area, so it would not be detrimental to the environment. Related news: Modern tech-based farming to develop Central Kalimantan's food estate
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Translator: Desca LN, Fardah
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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