Detiktoday.com – Provision of national food reserves is a strategic agenda to anticipate potential food crises due to pandemics as warned by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and reduce dependence on food imports. To that end, the government is preparing a new food barn which is currently being developed in Central Kalimantan and North Sumatra.
While chairing a limited meeting regarding the continuation of the discussion on food estate (food storage) via a video conference from the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, on Wednesday, September 23, 2020, President Joko Widodo asked his staff to immediately complete the formulation of the food barn master plan.
“The formulation of the master plan is very important so that all of these various aspects can be seen and can be resolved immediately, both for those in the irrigation area in Central Kalimantan covering an area of 148 thousand hectares, this is used for planting rice, as well as land outside non-irrigated area of 622 thousand hectares. this will be developed for cassava, maize, animal husbandry and others, “he said.
The supporting infrastructure for food storage must also be worked on immediately. For example, road access will make it easier for modern agricultural tools and facilities to enter the agricultural area.
The President also requested that the development of this new food storage be accompanied by careful calculations regarding its management. In addition, financing and business models for the management of food storage must also be formed immediately.
“Who will manage, what plants will be developed, then what technology will be used through field data science so that the plants we want to plant are really suitable,” he said.
To note, last July, President Joko Widodo visited the location of the development of a national food barn during his working visit to Central Kalimantan Province in Kapuas Regency. In the Regency there is a potential area of 20,704 hectares which will be used for the development of new food barns.
For Central Kalimantan, apart from Kapuas, the government is also preparing food barns in Pulang Pisau Regency. As for North Sumatra, the government has chosen Humbang Hasundutan Regency as a pilot area for the development of a new food barn.
“This (Central Kalimantan and North Sumatra) that we want to prioritize first, although there are also plans we will continue after this. Work has begun in the field for other provinces such as Papua, NTT and South Sumatra. But we will discuss this after these two can actually work, “said the President.