“The food estate is not (meant as) a rice field opening program, but (refers to) the development of a food center. Besides rice, centers of other crops will also be developed, such as cassava, corn, and others, in accordance with land conditions,” the Defense Minister’s spokesperson, Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak, said in a statement here on Tuesday.
As a strategic logistics reserve that is necessary to support national defense, the food estate will assist the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Logistics Agency, if there is a disruption in food supply at any time, he explained.
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The Defense Ministry has been tasked by President Joko Widodo to implement the program to build the food estate in accordance with Law No. 3 of 2002 on National Defense.
Article 6 of the law states, "State defense is carried out through efforts to build and foster the capability of the deterrent power of the state and nation, and to overcome any threats."
“We at the Ministry of Defense understand that the threats consist of military, non-military, and hybrid threats. Referring to the President's statement on a warning given by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) concerning a potential threat of a world food crisis in the future, as (a result of the) impact of the COVID-19 pandemic or crises caused by other factors, it is necessary to anticipate this as early as possible so that we do not experience a food crisis,” he explained.
Hence, it is crucial to prepare sufficient food reserves for the future, and one of the ways to build such reserves is through the development of this food estate, he added.
The food estate will be used to develop national food reserves, which would be distributed across Indonesia when needed.
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