Rp1 trillion for Papua food estates` basic infrastructure

Papua Food Estates
Korowai woman processing pulverized sago palm trunk into the starchy food that is the staple for almost every meal in this part of Irian Jaya. The sago palm is first felled with a stone axe, and then the trunk is hacked open and pried apart with hardwood poles. It is then chopped with wooden adzes and the pulverized pith is processed in this sluice made from the upper part of the felled palm. When water is poured in at the top, the starch is washed from the pulp and trickles through a bakr-cloth strainer. With two days of work a single sago palm can provide enough starch to support a family for several weeks. This picture was taken as part of an expedition for GEO Magazine and National Geographic Magazine to document the way of life of the Korowai tribe. Most of the Korowai in these photos had never had prior contact with anyone outside of their language group, and have no material goods from the outside world. They live in tree houses built above the forest floor to protect themselves from outsiders. The Korowai believe that contact with outsiders will bring an end to their culture. Cannibalism has been part of their traditional system of criminal justice to avenge the death of their clansmen, but the practice is dying out and is outlawed by the Indonesian government. The Korowai believe that most natural deaths are caused by sorcery, and must be avenged by the death (and consumption) of the person responsible.

Papua food estates

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – The building of the basic infrastructure for the opening of food estates in Papua will require an investment of almost Rp1 trillion, a minister said.

“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.

About Free West Papua 751 Articles
This Blog has gone through many obstacles and attacks from violent Free West Papua separatist supporters and ultra nationalist Indonesian since 2007. However, it has remained throughout a time devouring thoughts of how to bring peace to Papua and West Papua provinces of Indonesia.

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