Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at Harvest Festival Held by Community Movement for Social Forestry, Batang Regency, Central Java Province, Wednesday, June 8, 2022

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 8 Juni 2022
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Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

Distinguished Chairperson of Community Movement for Indonesian Social Forestry Siti Fikriyah, and the Advisory Board member of the Movement Prof. San Afri Awang;

Distinguished Cabinet Ministers. Accompanying me in this event were Minister of State Secretary, please stand up, Sir, Minister of State-Owned Enterprises Mr. Erick Thohir, Minister of Investment/Head of the BKPM Mr. Bahlil Lahadalia who comes from Papua, and Ms. Siti Nurbaya, Minister of the Environment and Forestry;

Distinguished Governor of Central Java, Mr. Ganjar and his Wife;

Distinguished Regent of Batang Regency;

Ladies and Gentlemen,

All Indonesian social forestry farmers.

This afternoon, I am very glad and very happy to meet all of you. In front of me, there are many harvest products that you have previously planted in social forestry.

I would like to say a few things.

First, regarding the area of ​​land that we have distributed for social forestry in the island of Java for almost five years. In Java alone, we have distributed 324,000 hectares [of land]. That is in the island of Java only. Across Indonesia, more than five million hectares [of land] have been distributed.

As I often say, we distribute [land] not only on a large scale. On the large scale, we distribute 100,000 hectares, 10,000 hectares, or 25 hectares. Communities also need land and the ownership must be clear to prevent problems. To that end, we distribute the Decree on Social Forestry to all of you, so that the people can access the land. Without land, how will the people carry out production activities? Which land do they would cultivate? Social forestry is important to open businesses for our farmers and the people.

Indeed, there are still shortcomings, namely management assistance and facilities assistance, right? Minister of State-Owned Enterprises, please pay attention to this matter. Mr. Erick Thohir, please write down what is needed, because Minister of Agriculture is not present today.

Second, we have the Governor here. I order that the social forestry farmers should get support in terms of the infrastructure, right? All right.

Now I would like to order Ms. Siti, as the one who hands over the decree, to speed up land redistribution and the decree, right? Ms. Siti, please listen to their aspirations.

We have to be aware that the current situation is not an easy one. It is indeed a very difficult situation, because we have experienced a pandemic for two years. Many people lost their jobs, right? Everyone faces challenges. This nation faces challenges and the people also face challenges.

Indonesia is not the only country experiencing challenges. There are 220 countries in the world experiencing the same. When the pandemic situation started to recover, the second major problem emerged, namely the war in Ukraine. Now, many countries have started to experience food shortages.

There is also a blessing in disguise. This is an opportunity for us. Food prices have risen. Prices of imported goods have also risen. [Price of] wheat has risen 30 to 50 percent. Price of soybeans has also risen. Prices of other food commodities have also risen. Take rice for example. The average price of rice in Indonesia is Rp 10,700. The price of [rice] in America is now Rp 52,000, rising several times. In a country located close to us, Thailand, the price of rice has risen to Rp 18,200.

We have an opportunity. Don’t abandon unproductive land. There are unproductive and neglected parcels of land and we must cultivate them. Every parcel of land has to be productive one. It is the domain of Minister of [the Environment and] Forestry. For example, [there is a parcel of land with] right to cultivate (HGU) for more than 10 years or more than 20 years and the land is not cultivated. That is also the domain of Minister of Environment and Forestry and Minister of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning.

The problem does not only occur in Batang regency or in Central Java province, but also occurred for decades across our country, Indonesia. We have to keep working so that the five million number can quickly go up to six million, seven million, eight million, nine million, and 10 million. In Java, we have distributed 324,000 hectares, and we can improve the number to 500,000 hectares and to one million (hectares). Abandoned parcels of land or State-Owned Enterprises’ land can also be utilized.

Therefore, once again, I invite all of us to plant staple food crops. You can cultivate [the land] with rice or corn. The price of corn has just risen. If you want to plant porang, you may plant it. Price of porang will increase because of global demand.

Yesterday I went to East Nusa Tenggara province where the land was planted with sorghum. In East Nusa Tenggara province, sorghum is easier to plant, while planting rice there is difficult due to water supply and thin topsoil. Sorghum can be cultivated there. We have tried to plant [sorghum] in 40 hectares of land. Do you know sorghum? We call it cantel here. Sorghum is very good. The seeds can be used for flour, the stems can be used for ethanol, and the leaves can be used for livestock. We will try to plant [sorghum] in more than 100,000 hectares of land. This is what we all have to do. Farmers must understand that there is an opportunity and demand for exporting food. [Farmers] have to understand this.

Ms. Siti and Prof. San Afri can also provide assistance to answer the question: what are the most beneficial crops for farmers? Is it corn? Is it porang, cantel, sorghum, or rice? We can ask Ms. Siti and we can ask Prof. San Afri Awang so that our commodity can be purchased at a good price. This is our opportunity.

That concludes my remarks on this auspicious occasion. I am glad to meet all of you here, ladies and gentlemen. That concludes my remarks. I thank you.

Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.



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