Merauke, – The government continues to strive to create national food security to guarantee national food security. Therefore, various exploration initiatives have been carried out in areas that have the potential to become food producers, one of which is in South Papua Province.

“We need to focus on making South Papua a national food barn in Eastern Indonesia, both rice centers, fisheries centers, and animal husbandry centers,” said Vice President K. H. Ma’ruf Amin.

He stated it at the meeting with the Acting Governor of South Papua Apolo Safanpo along with members of the Regional Leadership Coordination Forum of South Papua Province, Members of the Merauke Religious Harmony Forum (FKUB), religious leaders, and Merauke community leaders at Sakil Ballroom SwissBell Hotel, Jl. Raya Mandala No. 53 Merauke Regency, South Papua Province, Wednesday (30/11/2022).

The Vice President further said that this exploration process must be carried out while considering the local community’s opinion. Therefore, the involvement of Indigenous Papuans (OAP) is essential in this process because they are the elements that best understand the land in their area.

“Formulate an integrated approach from upstream to downstream, ensure the involvement of indigenous Papuans,” he added.

On the other hand, as a New Autonomous Region (DOB), the Vice President hoped for a more comprehensive discussion regarding the issues and agenda that are the focus of South Papua. For this reason, he asked specific stakeholders to hold governance and society issues meetings immediately.

“I instruct the ministers to immediately discuss various issues and agendas that concern South Papua Province,” said the Vice President.

On the same occasion, the Vice President also revealed that South Papua Province has a strategic position in gaining access across countries. He considered this because South Papua is to be the gate to the Pacific countries.

The Vice President then gave his appreciation for the efforts of the people of South Papua in maintaining regional stability.

“I appreciate the social life of South Papua, which is full of kinship and inclusiveness,” said the Vice President.

Concluding his remarks, the Vice President invited the Papuan people to jointly accelerate the development of the welfare of the Papuan people, especially South Papua.

“Unite our hearts, unite our goals, Izakod Bekai Izakod Kai, in accelerating the development of Indonesia from South Papua,” concluded the Vice President.

In line with the Vice President, Merauke Regent Romanus Mbaraka, explained that South Papua’s food potential is abundant, such as agriculture, fisheries, plantations, animal husbandry, and horticulture.

“We in southern Papua have no mining potential. But God’s love for Papua is fair, we are the leading sector, or our province, which is quite reliable is the potential for agriculture, fisheries, plantations, and animal husbandry, as well as horticulture or rice plants,” said Romanus.

“South Papua can feed all Papuans because our rice and meat production are very abundant,” he added.

The Governor of South Papua, Apolo Safanpo, said that the presence of the Vice President was a motivator for the people of Papua to increase competitiveness and development with other provinces.

“We hope that the presence of the Vice President in Papua Province can motivate and also support us to catch up with the development of other provinces,” said Apolo.

Present at the meeting included members of the Regional Leadership Communication Forum of South Papua and Merauke religious and community leaders.

Meanwhile, the Vice President was accompanied by the Head of the Vice President Secretariat Ahmad Erani Yustika, Special Staff for the Vice President Masduki Baidlowi, Muhammad Imam Aziz, and Robikin Emhas, as well as the Expert Team for the Vice President Nurdin Tampubolon and Johan Tedja Surya. (SM/LHS – BPMI Setwapres)