Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia on Presentation of the Award from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to the Government of the Republic of Indonesia, at the State Palace, Jakarta, August 14, 2022
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
May peace upon us all.
Honorable Ministers of Indonesia Onward Cabinet;
Honorable Director General of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Dr. Jean Balie;
Honorable Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) Representative for Indonesia and Timor Leste Mr. Rajendra Aryal;
Honorable governors and regents who are present this morning;
Honorable Chancellor of IPB and the rectors present;
Honorable representatives of farmers from all agricultural associations;
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen.
One of the infrastructures that we have built since 2015 is in the agricultural sector. We have built many dams, reservoirs, and irrigation networks. As far as I remember, 29 major dams have been inaugurated so far, and 38 dams will be built again this year. And, by 2024, we will have completed approximately 61 dams, as well as 4,500 small water reservoirs and 1.1 million irrigation networks built during the previous seven years.
Aside from the use of superior rice varieties, intensification, and extensification, those infrastructures contribute to the current increase in production. We can produce 31.3 million tons of rice in 2019, 31.3 million tons in 2020, and 31.3 million tons again in 2021. FAO and IRRI see this improvement and consistency because it is a real number.
And, according to the Statistics Indonesia (BPS), our stock in the ground will be the highest at the end of April 2022, at 10.2 million tons. If you ask where it is, there are some in the community, farmers, restaurants, and Bulog, as well as some in the food industries. Total weight was 10.2 million tons.
This is why we are given an award today. It shows that Indonesia has a good food security system and food self-sufficiency.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude, especially to workers on the ground, Indonesian farmers, Regents, Governors, and Ministry of Agriculture who have joined hands with researchers from universities. This is integrated and collaborative work.
Finally, we must continue to encourage this activity so that we produce not only for domestic consumption, but also for overseas export as production increases.
Speaking of food sources diversification, we should be cautious; we cannot rely solely on rice; we must begin with other types of food. Yesterday, we began growing sorghum in Waingapu and East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). Corn is also massive in several provinces. Seven years ago, we had to import 3.5 million tons of corn; today, we only import about 800,000 tons. This is a giant leap. And we hope that by continuously focusing on production, we will no longer need to import corn in the next two to three years, as we have not imported rice in three years.
In the midst of a global food crisis, the government is once again committed to continuously increasing production, ensuring food sufficiency in the country, and contributing to global food sufficiency.
That’s all I have to say on this occasion. I’d like to thank IRRI and FAO once more for their assistance in production so far and for developing a good plan.
Wassalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. (YC/LW)