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Building a Fertilizer Factory in Papua, the Government Optimizes to Realize Food Self-Sufficiency

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PT Pupuk Indonesia (Persero) is ready to start the fertilizer factory construction project in Fakfak Regency, West Papua Province at the end of November 2023. The construction of a fertilizer factory in Bumi Cenderawasih has been intensified to realize the target of food self-sufficiency and also supplies for agricultural needs.

It was stated that the fertilizer factory would be the first to be built in Eastern Indonesia, so that the realization of the supply of fertilizer needs for agricultural areas in Tanah Papua would be optimally fulfilled. Regarding the construction of the fertilizer factory, the President Director (Dirut) of Pupuk Indonesia, Rahmad Pribadi said that the President of the Republic of Indonesia (RI), Joko Widodo (Jokowi) will lay the first stone on November 24 2023 as a sign of the start of the project.

Pupuk Indonesia itself also continues to have very high optimism that the existence of this factory will clearly help the country to achieve food self-sufficiency. In fact, construction of the factory itself began in 1958, then occurred again in 1972. However, the last development was carried out in only one cluster, namely in 1982.

Then, after more than 40 years of no new fertilizer industry development, Pupuk Indonesia will start building another cluster in West Papua. Furthermore, the new project is targeted to be completed in 2028 with a factory production capacity of up to 3,500 tons of urea fertilizer per day or around 1.2 tons per year.

Rahmad Pribadi also added that the market share for fertilizer production in Fakfak will continue to be focused on domestic needs, especially in Tanah Papua. According to him, so far farmers in Bumi Cenderawasih have had to receive fertilizer at higher prices due to high logistical factors.

Therefore, when the construction of this fertilizer factory has been completed, it will clearly be very helpful for local farmers in Papua because they will no longer have difficulty accessing logistics at much more affordable prices. In fact, the land in Eastern Indonesia is very fertile land, but the logistics there are quite expensive.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Indonesia (Mentan RI), Andi Amran Sulaiman promised that his party would accelerate the handling of food problems in Papua. He also mentioned that this had become a direct mandate from President Jokowi and Vice President (Wapres) KH. Ma’ruf Amin.

This strong commitment and also how serious the central government is is shown by the team sent to overcome the food problem in Bumi Cenderawasih. One effort to realize this target is to prepare seeds that are suitable for the climatic conditions in the easternmost province in the country.

Upon receiving reports that hunger was still hitting Papua, the central government immediately moved by mobilizing a team and also accompanying the departure of the Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture (Menko PMK) to directly inspect the areas said to be affected by hunger.

Upon arrival in the area, the government immediately provided assistance in the form of plants that were suitable for local conditions, because the climate there was quite cold, so a special formulation was prepared with seeds that were suitable for planting in areas at an altitude of around 4 thousand meters above sea level, so that the food problem will be resolved.

In addition to preparing for suitability of plants for cold climates, adjustments are also made to local people’s consumption habits. Therefore, it is also important that there is synergy between all lines in dealing with food security, where food security is also able to reflect the resilience of a country.

The central government itself has planned for food diversification in Papua, so that later food planting will be adjusted to suit needs that are in line with local wisdom, as there people usually tend to consume tubers so it will be very suitable for the people of Cenderawasih Earth, then there is also sago and other types of food.

Efforts to achieve food self-sufficiency in Papua are indeed a collective step because food security itself is very synonymous with the country’s resilience. If, for example, an economic crisis occurs but a region or country is still able to continue to survive, then food security must be realized.

Indonesia itself has survived when it was hit by a world-class economic crisis, including the health crisis when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. It has been proven that this nation has been able to overcome it very well, therefore, this positive trend must be maintained and improved together.

The target of achieving food security and food self-sufficiency in the Land of Papua is certainly not an impossible target to achieve. Moreover, this is also helped by the acceleration of the construction of a fertilizer factory so that the community’s food supply needs can be met.

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