Agriculture Minister Rebuffs Food Estate Failure Allegations

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo on Wednesday responded to the allegations highlighting the food estate project in Central Kalimantan as a failed state project. He noted that the land plot opening for the ambitious project in 2020 alone reached 29,400 hectares. 

“The food estate is an anticipation of the potential for land use change. Some people say that it hasn’t succeeded in Central Kalimantan,” said the Minister in a national meeting in Jakarta on January 25. 

According to Yasin Limpo, the total land area that was opened in the Kapuas sub-region in 2020 reached a total of 19,436 hectares, which is a 7,257 hectares increase compared to 2019. Meanwhile, the land area opening in the Pulau Pisang sub-regency was 10,000 hectares. 

The total harvest at Kapuas sub-regency in 2020, he claimed, reached 18,764 hectares with a total productivity of 3.75 tons per hectare while the total harvest at Pulau Pisang reached 9,654 hectares with a productivity of 4,2 million tons. 

However, the Agriculture Minister did not reveal the food estate data from 2021 up to this year. 

Syahrul emphasized that the cleared land for the national program is swamp lands and not forest land. Thus, takes longer to produce crops than on Java island. He also claimed the soil conditions there were slightly foreign for farmers apart from the constant challenges from flooding. 

A previously reported, House of Representatives (DPR) Commission IV chairperson from the PDIP faction Sudin questioned the number of cases that arose from the Agriculture Ministry, with the food estate being one of them. He also said there are sets of data showing that the food estate failed in a number of regions. 


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