President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has expressed the hope that the area under new cornfields in Belu district, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), will continue to expand from the current acreage of 53 hectares.
“We have just opened new 53-hectares land for cornfields. The land will be watered with a sprinkler system, and the water source will be from the Rotiklot Dam that we have just inaugurated recently. From here, we will continue expanding the cornfields until (the area under corn cultivation reaches) 500 hectares,” the President said while observing a cornfield in Belu district, East Nusa Tenggara, on Thursday. The visit was broadcast on the Presidential Secretariat YouTube channel.
If corn planting is successful, the next land clearing for new cornfields might reach 15 thousand hectares, he added.
The local authority must have the courage to utilize locations that are not optimized to plant corn or other food plants, he said.
The utilization of agricultural technology and suitable equipment must also be done in concert with land clearing for agricultural purposes, he added.
“I believe when we dare to use new technology and probe lands (to plant new food plants) in difficult terrains, such as in East Nusa Tenggara, we can know which aspect needs to be improved and what equipment will suit the land in East Nusa Tenggara,” the President noted.
Opening new land for agricultural purposes will enhance national food resilience, particularly in Belu district, as the country has new areas that could be used to plant food plants, he said.
Further observation on land use is necessary to determine production capability in the cornfields and the profit that local farmers will enjoy, he added.
“I hope we can count the harvest by hectares to see how much the profit will be for the farmers. Afterward, we will continue expanding the field,” Widodo remarked.
Minister of Agriculture, Syahrul Yasin Limpo; Minister of State Secretary, Pratikno; and East Nusa Tenggara Governor Viktor Laiskodat accompanied Widodo during his visit to the cornfields in Belu district.
Source: Antara News