TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman wants Riau Islands to serve as the national organic food barn that produces rice, vegetables, and organic fruits. The food commodities will be exported, thus providing added economic value for the farmers.
"Brunei only has 1,000 hectares of organic farmland. Let's build 10,000 hectares here," Amran said during a food coordination meeting in Batam, Wednesday, September 7.
During his visit there, Amran said Riau Islands is benefits from its strategic position as the gateway for Indonesia to compete with neighboring countries that excel in agricultural commodities such as Thailand, Myanmar, and Vietnam. This can be achieved by exporting organic agricultural products from Riau Islands to Singapore.
He also wants the province to implement a modern, one-swath agriculture land, covering 10-20 hectares of paddy fields. This is aimed at lowering the cost of production.
Other countries that are also the export markets for organic rice include the United States, Germany, Italy, and the United Arab Emirates.
He asked the local Agriculture Office to send officers to Singapore to conduct surveys to find out what types of rice are mostly consumed in Singapore. These types of rice must then be grown in Riau Islands.
In addition, Amran is preparing the budget to open 4,000 hectares of agricultural land in Linga Regency, which is planned to become Riau Island's farm barn.
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