Food Estate is one of the government programs which intended to provide food and agricultural product which is more accessible, high yielding and affordable in the area outside Java Island, such as Borneo and Papua. The establishment has been started since June and is expected will be ready in 2022. The program integrated the aspects of food production including agriculture, plantation and also animal husbandry. This is one of the strategies launched by Indonesian Government to anticipate food shortage as it is assumed to happen due to one of the expected effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
The development of Food Estate is under Ministry of Public Works and Housing and Ministry of State Owned Enterprises and is financially funded via investment scheme. Facilities in the area are built or otherwise repaired to prepare for best condition for food production. In addition, Ministry of State Owned Enterprises also collaborate with Ministry of Agriculture to improve crop production system in order to achieve high yield crop.
In Pulang Pisau, the potential area is around 164,550 hectares, the functional area is 85,450 hectares and the remaining functional area is 79,100 hectares. This food estate area is the remnant of the “Million Hectare Rice Field Program” initiated by President Soeharto 30 years ago. In 2020 to 2021, there are 30 thousand hectares of land that will be developed first. Another 110 thousand hectares will be established in the 2022-2023 with the intention to improve its productivity. The rest will rely on the next government to carry on.
The Ministry of Agriculture provides agricultural machinery, fertilizers, center of excellence, horticulture development, as well as agricultural human resources to support the development of food estate. The main advantages of Central Kalimantan Food Estate are accommodating the interests of farmers from upstream to downstream aspects and beneficial economic activities development. Food estate farmers are encouraged in groups to carry out business activities towards developing farmer corporations. Each unit of business activity is carried out by farmer groups [Poktan] and Gapoktan.
Apart from the main crop rice, horticultural crops are also to be developed in Food Estate area. To know the character and the preference of the farmers there, ICHORD, including ICSFRI and other two institutions conducted a baseline survey on 12 farmer groups in the area of Center of Excellence Food Estate (CoE FE) in Pulang Pisau Central Borneo which covered 1024 hectares area. It turned out that the farmers are excited to develop crops such as citrus, papaya, banana and some vegetable crops i.e. onion and chili pepper. It also reveals the potential of using home yard of the farmers to develop those horticultural crops since it has higher chance for better management due to closer distance from home (Source: indonesia.go.id; balitjestro.litbang.pertanian.go.id/bq)