TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced on Tuesday that land for the food estate program in the Central Sumba Regency, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), will be expanded up to 10,000 hectares from the current 5,000 hectares.
The president plans to broaden the rice fields up to 5,600 hectares and 4,400 for corn fields. Jokowi revealed the reason NTT was chosen as the subject of the food estate program during his visit to Central Sumba on February 23.
“Why has it been implemented in NTT, especially in Central Sumba? Because we have to say it as it is. The data that I possess shows 34 percent of poverty exists here,” said the president as the region’s regent and governor were present.
Jokowi expects Central Sumba would be able to increase rice harvests to twice a year - which is double from what the region is able to produce currently - and one harvest time for corn and soybean. The main issue hampering the region from being able to harvest more is the water crisis.
“The problem remains the same for the entire NTT area. The water crisis. The key is in water,” Joko Widodo said.
The NTT provincial government together with the central government has helped solve the issue of water supply by constructing a well and larger reservoirs in the area in 201. However, this solution has not completely solved the water supply issue.
Moreover, East Nusa Tenggara Governor Viktor Bungtilu Laiskodat has set a goal for the food estate’s corn productivity to reach 7-8 tons per hectare and rice fields to produce 5 tons for every hectare.
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