Fri, 28 Nov 2008
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - A cabinet session scheduled for Thursday noon is to discuss a regulation on food estates to be established to support Indonesia`s food resilience.

"In the cabinet session at noon, there will be a report on this matter (regulation of food estates)," Bayu Krisnamurthi, deputy for agriculture and fisheries to the coordinating minister for economic affairs, said here on Thursday when officially opening a workshop on food estates at the finance ministry building.

He said the economic affairs coordinating ministry was drafting the regulation and had completed 90 percent of the job.

Initially, food estates were to be made subject to a government regulation (PP) but the process to issue a government regulation was considered too time-consuming so it was eventually decided to provide the legal basis for their formation in a regulation of the agriculture minister (Permen), he said.

Food estates needed to be regulated by the government because there was great interest in developing them among investors, Krisnamurthi said.

"So, it (the regulation) will accommodate the interest of investors. A number of businessmen have expressed their wish to invest in this sector," he said.

Food estates which would cultivate such crops as paddy, maize, soybean, and cassava, were intended not only to increase the country`s food production but also to supply materials for development of bio-energy, he said.

He said the investments needed to set up food estates would be huge.

Some investors needed almost 100,000 hectares of land for an estate, he said, adding the estates would be mainly developed outside Java Island.

The regulation would cover among other things the maximum area allowed for food estates and the periods in which investors could run the estates, he said.

Among investors interested in developing food estates in Indonesia were those from the Middle East and some domestic companies such as Medco, Artha Graha, and Sinar Mas, he said.

"They have shown their interest, but no concrete followup action has as yet been taken," he said.

He said the regulation on food estates was expected to be issued as soon as possible so that the estates could begin to be developed next year. (*)



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