Thu, 11 Aug 1994

Self-supporting in rice

From Republika

I am of the opinion that we should be self-supporting in rice and must preserve the rice fields. In fact, agricultural land must be increased because the need for rice is increasing as a result of an increase in population.

But the reverse has happened. We have all noticed that in some regions like Tangerang, Bekasi, Serang and even Karawang (known as the rice granary for West Java) the size of rice fields is decreasing, making room for housing complexes and industries. So why don't we stop this trend. If we need more houses we can build multi-story houses on unproductive land.

As for industrial areas we should find barren land, or better yet, find land outside Java. The eastern part of Indonesia would be good and also corresponds to the government's program to develop that area.