TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo asserted that strategic food reserves need to be created to anticipate a world food crisis as warned by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Thus, he appointed Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto to lead the national food storage project in Pisau Island, Central Kalimantan.
According to the former Jakarta Governor, food security is part of the national defense. “Defense is not only about defense systems (alutsista), but also food security,” said the President to reporters at the Merdeka Palace, Central Jakarta, Monday, July 13.
He stressed that the project helmed by Prabowo will be supported by the Agriculture Ministry. “The Agriculture Minister will back him up. Other agricultural and food matters will still be the authority of the Agriculture Minister,” he added.
Lands that will be used for food storage later are not peat land, he underlined. The government had inspected and made sure there are alluvial lands. The food estate will later turn into a food reserve based on existing needs.
“For example the country faces a shortage of rice, farmers will then plant rice. If it is short of corn, farmers will plant corn. We checked the lands yesterday, and we can plant corn, rice, chili there,” Jokowi outlined.