Papua food estates
“The required amount for basic infrastructure building for the Papua food estates has already been provided for in the 2011 State Budget,” Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Hatta Rajasa said here Monday.
The basic infrastructure for the food estates comprised such things as water supply facilities and roads laid out in clusters, he said.
After the basic infrastructure building was completed, the next step was inviting agricultural investors.
Activities at the food estates would be focused on cultivation of sugar cane, soybean, and rice, and supplemented with agro-industries.
Hatta said at present some 570,000 hectares of land were already available as the sites of the food estates. None of the land was forested.
There would be three food estate clusters in Papua, namely in Merauke,, Timika and Membramo. (*)
A former Dutch colony, West Papua was formally incorporated into Indonesia in 1969, after an undisputed vote of about 1,025 representative tribal leaders. The result of the plebiscite was overseen and endorsed by the United Nations.
Since the democratization in 1998, especially since 2007, democracy by mean of elections has been introduced to increase political participation in the two provinces. The fact that the leaders of Papua and West Papua provinces are democratically elected by the people has strengthened the legality of the region as a province of Indonesia.
During the Abdurrahman Wahid administration in 2000, aside from changing the province name from “Irian Jaya” to “Papua”, Papua gained a “Special Autonomy” status, a political compromise between Papuans and the central government.
The political will of politicians in Jakarta to proceed with the implementation of the Special Autonomy was formalized in 2001 with the special autonomy law.
Special autonomy is part of democratic means to address aspiration of Papuan people. In late 2001, Indonesian government introduced a “special autonomy” bill for West Papua. The bill, which was drafted mostly by indigenous Papuans, passed the Indonesian parliament as Law No. 21 in November 2001.