Statement of President of the Republic of Indonesia during Inspection of Food Estate Area in Keerom Regency, Papua Province, July 6, 2023

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 6 Juli 2023
Category: Speech Transcript
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Well, good afternoon. These are the corns we planted three months ago. It has been 107 days ago precisely since our last visit. Some corns are growing bigger, while some don’t grow much because they get too much water. As evaluated by Minister of Agriculture, the regent, and local farmers, the distance of the ditches for drainage must be designed smaller from 12 to 5 or 6 meters. This is the first time. Do not expect higher corn yields yet, but it is actually pretty high at around 7 tons per hectare since the national standard is 5.6 tons per hectare. I see the land is very fertile, yet it needs proper water drainage.

I will monitor the growth for the second harvest until the corns are growing bigger. That way, we can see the maximum yields. Once the productivity is improved, we can move on to thousands of hectares. How big is the land for corn fields in September, Sir?

Regent of Keerom (Piter Gusbager)
45 hectares of land, Sir.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
Another harvested area is estimated at 45 hectares. It does not have to be thousands of hectares because the field has only been used once for planting and growing corns.

Journalist
Has the market been prepared for the commodity, Sir?

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
Some have already bought it. This can bring a big profit for local farmers since the price ranges from Rp5,000-6,000 per kilogram, higher than the cost of production (HPP). That means 7 tons per hectare times Rp6,000 equals Rp42 million per hectare. Let’s assume we have 1,000 hectares of land, we can already earn Rp42 billion from it. It is a big amount to earn for only three months or 100 days.

Journalist
Sir, what is the legal umbrella to ensure the sustainability of this program in future leadership?

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
No legal umbrella is needed for this program. Minister of Agriculture has seen the implementation on the ground. It will be autonomous, the regent’s responsibility. We also need to modify the tools. Afterwards, we can hand it over to the regent. He will coordinate and organize the local communities. However, large quantities will certainly bring up productivity per hectare.

Journalist
…(not audible) Is there any development to meeting the national demands??

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
Regarding Eastern Indonesia, if the corn fields have been well managed with increased productivity above 7 tons, for example, then people in Eastern Indonesia will definitely come here. We can earn Rp42 million per hectare just within three months to 100 days, right? Who does not want it? Let’s be realistic about what happens on the ground. Do not make the corns grow slowly. We do not need to cover it up. It is what it is. However, there are also some corns that grow bigger.

Journalist
Sir, is there anything from Papua New Guinea (PNG)?

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
I see that the relations between our country and Papua New Guinea are getting better. It will be realized through concrete activities. For instance, establishing an economic zone on the border because of the trade value in Skouw per year reaches US$300 million, which is huge. It only happens in Skouw and Wutung. That will be even better if we can develop other economic zones. That was what we offered yesterday, and PNG agreed.

Second, regarding minerals. Indonesia and PNG are home to minerals. However, PNG wants to see the steps we took since nickel stocks provide a very large added value of up to 30 folds. There is a downstream industry in Morowali, in Weda Bay for nickel and copper. We also have copper in Gresik by Freeport, we also have bauxite in Bintan. We are abundant in minerals and will develop the industry. We are open to cooperation, be it with State-owned Enterprises or private sectors. That will be okay too if we walk alone. This is for mutual development, especially the global south. We need to strengthen this South-South cooperation.

Journalist
Sir, speaking of the area arrangement at the border. There are a lot of people shopping here, do the stalls need to be rearranged as well?

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
Well, we will evaluate every building we have built every three years, whether they need to be renovated or not. If necessary, we may build more stalls. And that is actually the Governor’s responsibility. It is autonomous affairs already. The Central Government should not involve in such state of affairs. When it comes to one or two stalls, the regent or the mayor can handle it. Alright.

Journalist
Thank you, Sir.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
I already made an appointment with local farmers. I will regularly monitor the growth. If the growth in 45 hectares of land shows good results, I will return for the harvest. Okay.

(RIF/MMB)

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