Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated that the construction of Mbay Dam in Nagekeo District, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), was one of the government's steps to support national food sovereignty.

"The dam and its irrigation are included in our food sovereignty strategy," he noted after reviewing the progress in construction of Mbay Dam in Nagekeo, NTT, on Tuesday.

Jokowi remarked that the construction work of Mbay Dam started at the end of 2021 and is targeted to be completed by the end of 2024, with a capacity of 51 million cubic meters of water.

"The dam can hold 51 million cubic meters of water and will eventually irrigate approximately 4,200 hectares, plus the development of 1,900 hectares," the president noted.

Once completed, Jokowi is optimistic that Mbay Dam would encourage rice production in Nagekeo District. The president targets rice production in the region to increase up to 2.5 times after the dam becomes operational.

"With the completion of the Mbay Dam, rice production in Nagekeo District is expected to increase by 250 percent, or 2.5 times higher," he said.

Accompanying the head of state during the visit were Minister of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Basuki Hadimuljono, Head of the National Food Agency Arief Prasetyo Adi, NTT Acting Governor Ayodhia Kalake, and Nagekeo District Head Johanes Don Bosco Do.

Based on data from the Nagekeo District Agriculture Service, rice plantations in the district in the second quarter of 2023 had an average production of 5.3 tons per hectare, with a harvest area of 6,869 hectares. With this data, the production resulted in 36,405.7 tons of dry harvested grain or rice stocks of 23,663 tons.

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Translator: Indra Arief P, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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