Makassar, S Sulawesi (ANTARA) - Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman expressed optimism that Indonesia would be able to realize food self-sufficiency within the next three years.

"Even though we are currently importing rice, in the next three years, we are optimistic that Indonesia will be able to return as a country with food self-sufficiency," he said during a working visit to Wajo District, South Sulawesi, to attend a plantation technical meeting on Saturday.

Sulaiman invited farmers to accelerate food production improvement even though food conditions in the world are currently not good, including in Indonesia, and many countries are facing a food crisis as well as the extreme El Nino phenomenon.

According to him, Indonesia is among the countries in the yellow line, namely those that are at risk of facing food shortages.

"From 2017 to 2020, Indonesia was self-sufficient in food. Agriculture is one of the sectors that determines the country's food self-sufficiency," he remarked.

Sulaiman's visit to Wajo District was the first visit he made to the district since he was reappointed as Agriculture Minister.

In Wajo, the minister handed over assistance and promised he would support the creation of new rice fields in the district.

Meanwhile, Wajo District Head Amran Mahmud stated that agriculture can become a driving force for other economic sectors.

According to him, the district has been able to increase agricultural production by 23 percent, the highest in Indonesia, with a production of 954 thousand tons.

Mahmud explained that the agricultural area in Wajo District is around 101 thousand hectares, while the district's plantation area is 55 thousand hectares.

Wajo's plantation sector needs support to boost agricultural production, including in the form of agricultural equipment, he said.

The district head expressed hope that Minister Sulaiman's visit could become a momentum to bring advantages to farmers in Wajo.

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Translator: Nur Suhra, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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