Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) urged the Ministry of Agriculture to complete preparations for food estate development in North Sumatra and Central Kalimantan by 2021.

In his opening remarks during a national working meeting on the 2021 Agriculture Development at the State Palace here on Monday, the head of state was sanguine that other provinces would emulate the food estates in North Sumatra and Central Kalimantan.

In Central Kalimantan, the food estate is planned to be located in Kapuas District and Pulau Pisau, spanning an area totaling some 164.6 thousand hectares. Rice planting is planned on the land that was earlier a peatland project area.

In North Sumatra, the food estate is projected to be located in the Humbang Hasundutan District, exclusively for horticultural commodities, covering an area of some 30 thousand hectares.

"It is pointless to produce just a few commodities, as it would not affect commodity imports. The problem since long until now is, for instance, why farmers do not want to plant soybeans, which can also be grown in Indonesia. This is because the price is less competitive than imported soybeans," the president explained.

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Jokowi also emphasized his intent to constantly keep abreast of the development of the food estates in the two provinces.

"I really inquire to be followed up on the field, so that later, if we build a food barn in these two provinces, the food estate that we develop is correct. We will encourage other provinces to provide funds from the state budget, but there really is a return to the country," President Jokowi stated.

The head of state reminded that the agricultural sector occupied an increasingly central position in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"As we know that the FAO has warned (us) of a potential food crisis. Be careful about this. Be careful due to restrictions on the mobility of citizens and also the distribution of goods between countries and global food distribution being hampered," Jokowi pointed out.

The soybean supply issue was also a result of these activity restrictions, he remarked.

Food estate is a food development concept being implemented in an integrated manner that encompasses agriculture, plantations, and also livestock in certain areas. Food estate, or referred to as a large-scale food barn, is aimed at maintaining national food security. Related news: Food estates will not encroach protected zones: minister

Translator: Desca LN, Fardah
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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