Magang Kji, Jakarta – Presidential contender of the Indonesia Onward Coalition, Prabowo Subianto, asserted that Indonesia must achieve self-sufficiency in the food, energy, and water sectors to avoid dependence on other nations for food.
Prabowo, who serves as Defense Minister, lamented the fact that there are still parties who criticize and question the government's food estate program.
"Why are food prices going up? Because of this. Because there are still people who slam what the food estate is for. They don't understand this," Prabowo said at the Bidakara Hotel, South Jakarta on Saturday, September 30, 2023.
The Gerindra Party patron chief recalled that a few months ago, some people criticized him for establishing new rice fields because they thought it would be cheaper to buy rice from Vietnam and Cambodia. Some people also questioned the government's move to raise cattle, saying it would be better to import them from Australia. Prabowo assessed that these were misguided thoughts.
"This is wrong thinking, and someone must have the courage to say it is wrong. Why? When an emergency, a disaster, or a war occurs, these countries will not allow rice, food, to be sold to Indonesia," he emphasized.
For example, Vietnam and Thailand closed imports during COVID-19, and many countries restricted food imports during the Ukraine-Russia war.
"We have to be self-sufficient. We have been self-sufficient and we will be self-sufficient again. In fact, God willing, if we are trusted by the people and commissioned by the people, we will have the opportunity to develop further. We will become a food estate for the world," Prabowo concluded.