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Prabowo optimistic about food estate program, self-sufficiency

Jakarta Post - March 4, 2024

Jakarta – Presumptive president-elect Prabowo Subianto has predicted that Indonesia will be able to achieve food self-sufficiency through the food estate program in the next two to three years.

"The noble ideal of realizing food self-sufficiency would have been almost realized if the monetary crisis of 1998 had not occurred," Prabawo said at a graduation ceremony on Thursday for students of Kebangsaan Republik Indonesia University in Bandung, as quoted by investor.id.

"Therefore, the delayed aspiration must be realized now."

Prabowo was also confident that the country could become a global food production hub in the next two to three years as Indonesia was an agricultural country filled with abundant natural resources.

Nonetheless, the food estate program has faced opposition in some quarters, with critics saying the program is a waste of state funds.

Despite the criticism, Prabowo said he was confident that the program would lead to food self-sufficiency.

"Indonesian intellectuals criticized me, criticized the concept of a food estate. Some want to import food from abroad," he said.

"I responded that if a food crisis occurs and other countries do not want to sell, Indonesians cannot possibly rely on other nations."

He encouraged young people to develop technological skills to bring about innovations in the food sector.

He added that several international institutions predicted that Indonesia would become a developed country in the next 25 years.

Prabowo also affirmed his commitment to achieving renewable energy self-sufficiency through crops such as from oil palm, sugar cane and cassava.

He claimed renewable energy sourced from plants was beneficial because it did not cause pollution and reduced Indonesia's reliance on fossil fuels.

"Later, we will no longer extract oil from the ground and gas, which will run out. As long as there is sun and rain, we can harvest solar [energy] every year," he said as quoted by Antara news agency.

"Many countries are jealous of Indonesia."

He said that in the next few years, Indonesia would be able to produce biodiesel with palm oil as the feedstock to stop imports of traditional diesel.

"We will be able to produce B100, which means a biodiesel 100 percent made of palm oil," he said.

"Can you imagine? We will no longer import diesel fuel from abroad because our current production of palm oil is 48 million tonnes."

Prabowo claimed that this meant that Indonesia's fuel would be environmentally friendly, without pollution and fully renewable.

Source: https://asianews.network/prabowo-optimistic-about-food-estate-program-self-sufficiency