Minister Inspects Irrigation System of New Foodshed in C. Kalimantan
Date 15 Juni 2020
In a bid to expand the Government’s food estate program, Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono inspected the rehabilitation of alluvial land which was previously used in the Government’s Peatland Development (PLG) project in Central Kalimantan.
The location is expected to be the national new foodshed which is located outside Java Island and one of the National Strategic Programs for 2020-2024 period.
“I came here to follow up President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s instruction of making Central Kalimantan Province a new food estate outside Java Island after reviewing several prospective regions including South Sumatra, East Kalimantan, and Merauke. In my opinion, Central Kalimantan is the right choice since the Province already has farmers, developed irrigation system and agricultural production support system,” the Minister said when inspecting rehabilitation of Rawa Tahai Irrigation Area in Pulau Pisang Regency, Central Kalimantan, Sunday (14/6).
The Minister previously visited several irrigation areas on Saturday (13/6), such as Rawa Dadahup Irrigation Areas, Rawa Palingkau Irrigation Areas, and Rawa Anjir Serapat Irrigation Areas in Kapuas Regency to inspect the construction of infrastructures. On that occasion, he inspected the preparation of access roads and irrigation network system since adequate infrastructures are vital for the development of agricultural sector in Central Kalimantan.
Out of 165,000 hectares of land designated for the program, a total of 85,500 hectares of land already functioned as farmland. The remaining 79,500 hectares of land was scrubland that needs to be cleared. To improve irrigation system, the Ministry needs a budget of Rp1.9 trillion for 2021 and 2022. It is because irrigation system of 28,300 ha from 85,500 hectares of land that already functioned as farmland is not good enough. Meanwhile, irrigation system of the remaining 57,200 hectares of land must be rehabilitated that requires Rp1.05 trillion of budget.
The rehabilitation will be carried out in stages starting in 2020 to 2022 in which 1,210 hectares of land will be rehabilitated in 2020 that requires Rp73 billions of budget, 33,335 hectares of land will be rehabilitated in 2021 that requires Rp484.3 billion of budget, and 22,655 hectares of land will be rehabilitated in 2022 that requires Rp497.2 billion of budget.
Rehabilitation on irrigation system in 2020 covers rehabilitation of 1,210 hectares of land by using Rp26 billions of budget, planning for 164,595 hectares of land with a total budget of Rp47 billions, and physical rehabilitation.
Physical rehabilitation includes raising of reservoir embankments, construction of floodgates, and dredging of irrigation areas in Rawai Tahai with a total budget of Rp9.8 billion, in Tambak Sei with a total budget of Rp4.1 billion, in Tambak Bahaur with a total budget of Rp3.9 billion, and in Rawa Belanti with a total budget of Rp8.2 billion.
The Minister pointed out that in rehabilitation, hydrological characteristic must be prioritized because the area is a littoral zone which has low pH level. By doing so, he added, land clearing process will be easier.
The rehabilitation of irrigation system of 165,000 hectares of land is predicted to be completed in two years so that the future agricultural products will increase significantly.
The Minister asserted that the expansion of food estate program is carried out with cooperation of the Ministry of State-owned Enterprises though investment scheme. Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing constructs basic facilities and infrastructures such as irrigation system. Meanwhile, Ministry of State-owned Enterprises and Minister of Agriculture develops farming technology to increase and improve agricultural products by two tons per hectare.
After inspecting location of food estate expansion, the Minister also visited location of Irrigation System Accelerated Program (P3-TGAI) which is conducted through cash labor-intensive scheme in Pangkoh Irrigation Area, Pulau Pisang Regency, Central Kalimantan.
The project that costs Rp195 millions absorbed 30 workers which is expected to reduce unemployment rate and improve people’s purchasing power amidst economic uncertainty due to COVID-19 pandemic. For the record, the daily wage of the workers is around Rp100,000 to Rp120,000 per person. (Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing/EN)
Translated by : Rany Anjany
Reviewed by: Yuyu Mulyani