Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said developing food estates is not an easy task, as imagined by some parties, since achieving the desired results requires several attempts at planting food crops.

He made the statement after attending an event commemorating National Constitution Day and the 78th anniversary of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) at the Parliamentary Complex in Jakarta on Friday.

Despite facing difficulties, the country must develop food estates, he stressed.

"They (food estates) will store food reserves for strategic purposes. Moreover, in the event of abundance, we may export (the reserves) to other countries. That being said, it should be noted that developing food estates is not as easy as you may have imagined," he said.

He made the statement in response to criticism linked to allegations of misuse of the food estate policy.

The government has resorted to developing food estates to anticipate a food crisis, considering that all countries in the world are likely to be affected by the crisis, which became evident after a significant increase in the price of wheat on account of the Ukraine-Russia war, he explained.

Furthermore, the government is also striving to formulate anticipatory measures to secure the stocks of rice, the staple food of Indonesian citizens, following India's decision to stop rice exports to ensure domestic food resilience.

Nevertheless, he explained that it is not rare to experience failure in initial planting efforts.

"Usually, initial plantings result in failures, while the second attempt only reaches 25 percent of success at most. Normal (expected) results could be achieved in the following attempts," he said.

He cited the example of the food estate project in Humbang Hasundutan District, North Sumatra, which achieved optimal results in the third planting.

"The problems faced in the field are not as simple as (you have) imagined. Therefore, we will evaluate, correct, and repeat everything. We will not achieve the optimal results if we waver in the first attempts," he said.

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Translator: Mentari Dwi, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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