Jayapura, Jubi – The head of Papua’s Food Crops and Horticulture Agency Samuel Siriwa revealed that Merauke will embark on a program to expand rice farming areas to 10,000 hectares.
“This year, in accordance with the letter of the cabinet secretary, central government will expand rice field to 10,000 hectares in Merauke,” he said in Jayapura on Wednesday (1/1/2015).
“This program is part of one-million hectares of rice fields in Merauke,” he continued. He said there will be many obstacles that need to be addressed by all parties.
“We will see whether it can be executed or not because it needs to be studied well. Then it also requires mapping of customary rights, “he said.
He continued, human resources is another factor that must be considered both in terms of quality and quantity which need to be improved.
“The issue of human resources should also be a concern, though aided by mechanization but still need manpower as well, so the need to increase local human resources, not through transmigration program,” he said.
“There are many people who want to farm in Merauke,” said Siriwa.
Currently, the land that has been explored in Merauke are 38 thousand hectares, there is a planted one to two times a year. And to realize the program of one million hectares, need the involvement of all stakeholders.
“We expect not only government and farmers to realize one million hectares, but also the private sector will get involved in,” he added. (*)