Public Works Ministry to Start Food Estate Development in C. Kalimantan in October 2020
Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono said that the construction of irrigation system and land cultivation for food estate program in Central Kalimantan Province will begin in October this year.
According to him, the Ministry will continue to work together with Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises, and the Office of Presidential Staff (KSP) to synchronize the work program for food estate development in alluvial areas on the Ex-Peatlands Development (PLG) land that will be used for rice and cassava cultivation in the province.
As part of the National Strategic Programs (PSN) of 2020-2024, the area designated as food estate is expected to become a new national food barn outside Java Island.
Basuki said that there are two food estate to be developed in Central Kalimantan Province. Minister of Agriculture to oversee rice cultivation that is located in an alluvial area of 165,000 hectares on Ex-Peatlands Development (PLG) land, while Minister of Defense to oversee cassava cultivation that is located in an area of 60,000 hectares.
At the initial stage, the development of food estate for rice cultivation covering an area of 32,000 hectares will begin in October this year. Of the 32,000 hectares of land, around 30,000 hectares are located in an area with a good rice field and irrigation condition, while other 2,000 hectares are located in Dadahup district.
“For rice planting, we will start to rehabilitate irrigation channels and access road to the food estate area in October this year, while the remaining 133,000 hectares will be developed next year. Physical works in the165,000 hectare rice estate are expected to complete by the end of 2020 and the area will be ready for planting in 2021,” Basuki said during a working meeting on the food estate development program at the PUPR Campus, Tuesday (1/9).
Regarding cassava food estate, Basuki said that out of the total planned development area of 60,000 hectares, an area of 30,000 hectares will be developed in Gunung Mas regency, Pulang Pisau regency, and Kapuas regency in 2020-2021, while the remaining 30,000 hectares of land in Murung Raya regency will be developed next year.
“The budget for the development is now available. Ministry of Defense will mobilize the personnel of Army’s engineering directorate (Zeni) to carry out land clearing and land grabbing to prepare for cassava planting. Preparing land for cassava is easier compared to rice because rice is more sensitive. The land for rice planting should be completely flat so it can be irrigated properly,” he said.
According to him, water supply is the main key to the food estate development program in the province. The Ministry will support water management for food estate development through rehabilitation and improved irrigation channels and networks, such as primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary irrigation. In addition to infrastructure, human resources will be prepared to develop the program under the coordination of Ministry of Defense and Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises.
Deputy Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Budi Gunadi added that there will be a reserved program to prepare human resources. The Government will recruit the community, especially local residents in the age range of 28-35 years. Afterwards, they will be included in the reserved program and will be trained how to farm in approximately 4 months.
Translated by: Syarifah Aisyah
Reviewed by: Mia Medyana