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Govt harvests corn in Kalimantan food estate

Jakarta Post - March 14, 2024

Jakarta – The Defense Ministry, along with the Agriculture Ministry, harvested corn in a food estate area in Tewai Baru village, Sepang district, Central Kalimantan, on Monday.

The food estate, part of the government's 2020-2024 National Strategic Program, manages land used to cultivate crops and integrate food production in the country.

The harvest event was attended by Lt. Gen. (ret) Ida Bagus Purwalaksana, who is also food security staff member at the Defense Ministry, and other ministry officials and members of the Central Kalimantan Agriculture Instrument Standardization Agency (BSIP Central Kalimantan).

BSIP Central Kalimantan head Akhmad Hamdan said the harvest reflected the government's dedication to enhancing food security.

"To increase the scale of national corn production. We always say that food security is the country's defense, so we are preparing what the people are hoping for," Hamdan said on Monday.

Led by Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, the food estate program has been criticized as being ineffective because it has paid little regard to the compatibility of crops planted with the type of soil in each area. Harvest failures of rice and other agricultural products have been reported in food estate locations.

The program has also allowed deforestation and land clearance in protected forests.

Ida said on Wednesday that the crops harvested from the food estate had been used as food stock for residents.

He said the food estate would prevent residents in the area from being affected by food shortages amid scarcities and rising prices of basic commodities.

Ida said the Defense Ministry had successfully harvested corn from nine hectares of the food estate in Central Kalimantan. The ministry planned to harvest cassava on a further five hectares of land soon.

The Indonesian Army is also involved in overseeing the food estate, with the harvested food intended for direct consumption or to fulfill the economic needs of the local community.

"The Army's presence in Sepang district has had a very good impact on the socioeconomic independence of the community," Ida said in a press statement.

Palangka Raya Military commander Col. Wiwid Wahyu Hidayat expressed his appreciation for the food estate program. He was optimistic about the program's potential to boost the local economy significantly.

"Sufficient food stocks will help improve the local economy," Wiwid said.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2024/03/14/govt-harvests-corn-in-kalimantan-food-estate.htm