With 20 thousand hectares, West Papua can supply rice to neighboring provinces.
Manokwari, West Papua (ANTARA) - Agriculture Minister Andi Arman Sulaiman has said that West Papua province has potential to be developed as a rice barn for four other provinces, namely Papua, Southwest Papua, Papua Highland, and Central Papua.

This would be in line with efforts to optimize the agricultural land area of 20 thousand hectares in the province, which are being carried out in stages, he added.

"With 20 thousand hectares, West Papua can supply rice to neighboring provinces. Meanwhile, for Merauke (South Papua), we are preparing the region for Indonesian food self-sufficiency," Sulaiman informed after reviewing agricultural land in Manokwari District on Friday.

He informed that his ministry will prepare a budget for planting 20 thousand hectares of rice fields in West Papua to realize food self-sufficiency.

The ministry will use a modern agricultural system to increase productivity and maintain production quality while reducing production costs.

"We have to use a modern agriculture system. It will be difficult to use the manual ones. I hope the regional government can support to implement this program," Sulaiman informed.

In addition, he said that West Papua has received an additional subsidized fertilizer allocation of 4,532 tons, consisting of 1,839 tons of Urea fertilizer, 2,692 tons of NPK fertilizer, and one ton of NPK-FK fertilizer for 2024.

The additional subsidized fertilizer quotas will have a positive impact on farmers' efforts to increase yields of food commodities such as rice, corn, soybeans, chilies, onions, sugar cane, coffee, and cocoa, he informed.

"There has been a 100 percent additional fertilizer (subsidy allocation) for the region. The ministry is ready to assist (by providing) machine tools according to requests from the regions," he said.

In addition, Sulaiman lauded the role of the Indonesian Army through the XVIII/Kasuari Regional Military Command (Kodam), which installed a water pipe network to support the expansion of rice planting areas.

"Any demand regarding pipe installation can be reported to the Agriculture Ministry. We are ready to fulfill the need in order to solve the irrigation problem and support rice planting expansion," he said.

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Translator: Fransiskus Salu W, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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