Palangka Raya, C Kalimantan (ANTARA) - Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman has informed that Central Kalimantan province is expected to become a food buffer region that will supply food to the new national capital (IKN) Nusantara in East Kalimantan.

"IKN, with around 1.5–2 million workers, 5––10 million population, (the food) must be supplied from Central Kalimantan. We must design it from now," he said on the sidelines of his meeting with several parties in Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan, on Monday.

To this end, the Ministry of Agriculture is fully supporting the development of various programs in the agriculture sector in Central Kalimantan, including the Food Estate project, which is a national strategic project.

According to Sulaiman, the food estate will become a prominent center of Indonesia's food supply in the future, especially to anticipate the increasing population density.

In view of this, during his working visit to the province, he symbolically handed over agriculture development assistance worth over Rp10 billion (around US$638.2 thousand) for Central Kalimantan.

The assistance included rice seeds, post-harvest equipment, assistance for the processing and marketing of food crops, and hybrid corn seeds.

Central Kalimantan Governor Sugianto Sabran said that the province's agriculture sector has shown positive growth in general. This cannot be separated from the role of farmers, agricultural institutions, and agriculture extension workers.

This success is reflected in the inflation rate in Central Kalimantan, which has remained under control and below the national rate. In September 2023, the province's inflation stood at 0.11 percent, lower than the national figure of 0.19 percent.

The National Food Estate Program is continuing to be pursued to support the growth of the planting index (IP) and the farmers' economy, which is reflected in the increase in the farmers' exchange rate (NTP) from year to year.

As of the third quarter of 2023, the NTP for the food crops, horticulture, and livestock sub-sectors has reached 118.77 percent.

"Whatever the President orders, we will carry it out, we will assist it. This is a national project; we need (it) for Indonesia to be sovereign in the eyes of the world," the governor said.

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Translator: Muhammad Arif, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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