Food estate projects to dig deeper into forests

Food estate projects to dig deeper into forests
The Jakarta Post, March 24th 2010

Adianto P. Simamora
 

 

 

 

 

 


Greenomics Indonesia predicted Wednesday most of the planned 1.6 million of hectares of food estates in Merauke, Papua, would open forested areas.

An assessment of forestry data by Greenomics said there were only 300,000 hectares of production forest there, which could be converted into other purposes such as food estate projects.

“The area is not large scale; they are scattered and the permit should be issued by the Forestry Ministry,” Executive Director Elfian Effendi said.

He said that if the project developers wanted to use the land, they should secure from the Forestry Ministry the approval from the House of Representatives.

“There must be an independent team to assess the area, and all mechanisms in securing permits should be implemented before utilizing the land,” he said.

The Agriculture Ministry planned to establish 1.6 million of hectares of food estates and energy in Papua.

But the Forestry Ministry has yet to provide the license to convert virgin forests into food estates.

Data from Greenomics said that out of 4.7 million hectares of land in Merauke, 95 percent was still forested area. It says there are 3.42 million hectares believed to be virgin forest in Merauke.