TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo dismissed the statement made by a member of the House of Representatives (DPR) that the food estate program had failed. Syahrul argued that Indonesia has diverse types of land so finding effective methods for cultivating a certain type of land is essential.
In addition, Syahrul said, the success of the program cannot be measured with agriculture on the island of Java. “It did not fail. Don’t compare the land here in Java and in Kalimantan, which is swamp lands. So it can’t be [as easy as] turning hands,” said Syahrul when met at the DPR Building, Senayan, South Jakarta on Monday, January 16, 2023.
The government has cleared around 62,000 hectares of new land. Of which, 47,000 hectares had already produced commodities up to 4 tonnes. However, Syahrul stopped short of giving further details about where the land is and what commodities are produced.
The PDIP politician emphasized that the program ran slowly because it faces various obstacles such as pests, weather, and the surrounding community. Thus, it requires a process and patience in management. But he believed the country’s lands could be productive.
“We are optimistic. Our land in Papua must be used as productive lands and it takes stages,” Syahrul added.
Syahrul did not deny that there were unproductive lands. However, he stated that he would immediately fix the cause, particularly the irrigation problem. He also asked anyone criticizing the program to present valid data, which reflected the ministry’s good performance.
Earlier, DPR Head of Commission IV Sudin said the ministry led by Syahrul Yasin Limpo had a poor performance and many problems, including the food estate program. He claimed to have data showing that it failed in several regions.
RIANI SANUSI PUTRI
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