By: Edi Jatmiko )*
The employment opportunities in rural areas are certainly not as many as those in urban areas, however, the food barns that are launched by the government have the potential to create new jobs in rural areas.
Food storage is a food reserve institution in rural areas that has a role in overcoming food insecurity in rural areas.
The main objectives of the development of this national food storage area include maintaining food security and sovereignty, preserving the environment (forest logging moratorium) and involving the community in revitalizing the local / village economy.
This program is planned to be an application of agricultural technology by accommodating farmer groups to work on an area of 100 hectares and 1,000 – 10,000 hectares for a combination of farmer groups.
The farmer corporations will become the basis for the development of new food storage areas in Central Kalimantan, which will be carried out in an integrated manner, including agriculture, plantations, and even livestock in an area.
This food estate program is an effort to achieve food security by increasing productivity outside the island of Java.
This project will also optimize swamps to become productive agricultural land. Namely, by applying a touch of modern agricultural technology and becoming a pilot area.
Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo said, the program which has been included in the national strategic program in the APBN has one hope that later farmers will no longer sell unhulled rice cheaply. This means that everything must be downstream and the industry must be well designed.
This program is also able to increase the income of family farmers and ensure national food security.
Syahrul said, the development of the food estate area in Central Kalimantan was carried out using intensive swampland optimization technology to increase production and cropping index (IP).
All of that is in the form of downstream and all industries must be well designed. The development of this food estate area is a pilot model, so that we must develop a large group of corporations.
Currently, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, the agricultural sector was able to provide positive growth of 16.24 percent in the second quarter. Therefore, special efforts are needed to maintain security and availability of food, for the sake of creating a peaceful and prosperous society.
He emphasized that we all have to work hard and work together on the basis of efforts to provide additional national food stock. Hopefully this epidemic can end soon and activities return to normal, so that the people’s economy can revive again.
Previously, Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati emphasized that the food estate program is the government’s effort to create food security.
For this reason, the 2021 State Budget (APBN) will focus on economic recovery, revitalizing the national food system, developing food estates, and increasing productivity outside Java.
Previously, to ensure the start of the food barn or food estate project, President Joko Widodo visited Belanti Siam Village, Pandih Batu District, Pulang Pisau Regency, Central Kalimantan (Kalteng) Province. The area of the food estate in Central Kalimantan reaches 168,000 hectares.
Previously, Jokowi said that in the area, fertilization could use drones, and to plow the fields you could use a floating tractor, which in one day could complete work up to 2 hectares of land.
Jokowi said that the development of the food storage area that is currently being worked on is on a large scale, so that the mechanization of modern equipment is needed. In addition, in the same area various commodities will be developed, including food crops, horticulture, plantations and animal husbandry and fisheries.
This food barn will later combine rice fields planted with rice, then on the margins planted oranges, shallots, coconut. So that is expected, later the farmers will not only produce rice, but there are oranges, coconuts and others.
The former Mayor of Surakarta said that these business model combinations would be implemented in the food estate area as a pilot stage, so that in the future, if this effort is successful, it will be replicated in other areas.
With this food barn program, we certainly hope that the program can be implemented in a measured manner and have a direct impact on the welfare of the community in accordance with the 1945 Constitution.
)* The author is a contributor to the Cikini Press and Student Circle