Statement of President of the Republic of Indonesia after Inspecting Food Estate in Keerom Regency, Papua Province, March 21, 2023

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 21 Maret 2023
Category: Speech Transcript
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Reporter

How was the inspection in Keerom [regency], Sir?

President Joko Widodo

Here in Keerom regency, Papua province, we will provide around 10 thousand hectares of land for maize. As of today, the land clearing has been prepared. Cultivated land reached 500 hectares, while next year it is estimated to reach 2,500 hectares. 100 hectares of land has been used. The first harvest will be in June [2023] and we will see how many tons of maize per hectare.

It is feasible to grow the maize considering that the land is flat. However, it’s impossible to earn a yield of 10 or 11 tons like we did in Java island. I think it is enough to produce four or five tons during the first harvest. In the second harvest, it is our hope that it can reach six tons. And in the third harvest, the yield will usually reach its best level.

Earlier I have reminded Minister of Agriculture, Regent of Keerom to ensure the target market. The offtaker and the party handling the dryer process must be clear. The post-harvest process, price must also be clear so that it will not bring disadvantages to farmers. Once again, it must be clear. We are trying to grow [maize] in 100 hectares of land. If it produces 5 tons per hectare, it means that we can produce 500 tons. It is a huge figure. How much money will we get? It is indeed a huge figure.

Reporter
Sir, how does the Government support the [maize] sales? Sales issue often becomes problem in Papua.

President Joko Widodo

I have ordered [Minister of Agriculture, Regent of Keerom] to ensure the offtaker that will buy the product considering that there are a shortage of maize supply for livestock including laying hens, broilers, pigs, and cows in Papua.

Reporter

Sir, how will the irrigation work?

President Joko Widodo

Later, everything will be done so that water does not overflow too much. Ditches must be built in the middle of the intersecting drainage. Some of the problems we discussed earlier in the field are already known. Therefore, if the capacity reaches 10 thousand times, let’s say 7 tons, it means that every harvest reaches 70 thousand tons. It must be ensured who will buy it and what for.  If it is distributed to Java, the delivery cost will be quite expensive so that it must be optimized for Papua province, West Papua province.

Reporter

Previously, it was used for oil palm. Is there any special treatment so that the farmers can adapt [to grow maize]?

President Joko Widodo

There is still oil palm plantation here. It means that we are trying to build an integrated plantation by growing oil palm and maize.

(AP/LW)

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