Jakarta (ANTARA News) – The Agriculture Ministry is set to establish food production centers in border areas in a bid to support food provision in the regions.
Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman said here on Thursday that some border areas are now ready to develop food production centers. These are in Riau Islands, West Kalimantan, East Nusa Tenggara, Maluku and Merauke.
“Currently, Indonesia lags behind its neighboring countries in terms of food security, although we have a large area under agriculture,” Amran added.
Such a situation, he continued, leads to smuggling of food from neighboring countries.
“We will build rice production centers there. If we build food production centers in the border areas, we can also export the commodity easily,” he explained.
In addition, it would support the governments attempts to make Indonesia the worlds leading food producer.
Amran noted that enhanced food production in Riau Islands can even result in export of rice to Singapore. Increased food production in West Kalimantan, East Nusa Tenggara and Merauke could result in export of commodity to Malaysia, East Timor and Fiji, respectively.
He reiterated that the ministry would cultivate some strategic commodities for export, including onion, corn and rice.
The ministry has targeted to bring 50,000 hectares of land in Entikong under the program, while in Riau Islands, it has prepared 4,000 hectares of land.
The government will also develop the processing industry to increase the commodities added value.(*)