Minister of Public Works and Public Housing, Basuki Hadimuljono, said that the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned of a food crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "In order to face this challenge, the ministry is implementing sustainable food estate development and management to increase food security while supporting national economic recovery by providing jobs for people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Minister Hadimuljono in a statement received in Jakarta, Sunday.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ministry continued to strive to achieve infrastructure development targets to help national economic recovery through the increase of state spending, he said.
One of the infrastructure developments carried out during the pandemic was the development and management of the food estate.
The ministry is currently developing a food estate covering an area of 165,000 hectares in Pulang Pisau District and Kapuas District in the province of Central Kalimantan.
Additionally, food estate developments have also been programmed in North Sumatra, South Sumatra, East Nusa Tenggara and Papua.
Minister Hadimuljono said that food estate developments were carried out under President Joko Widodo's directives as a priority to safeguard the Indonesian sovereignty and improve the welfare of the Indonesian people through national food security.
He further explained that a number of challenges were faced in the process of the development, including water management, community economy, environment, institutions and financing.
“The location for the development of each food estate has different characters and challenges. In Central Kalimantan we are revitalizing the former site of one million hectare peatland project PLG) which is not peatland, but rather, it is alluvial, covering an area of 165,000 hectares. It all requires very detailed and accurate water management. Here we prioritize drainage management so that the land is not inundated and can be planted," he explained.
Meanwhile, he continued, in North Sumatra and East Nusa Tenggara where the lands are more dry, the focus is on irrigation using a gun sprinkler. It takes thoughts and collaboration from various sectors to find the right solution that can be applied in the field.
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