Korean investor wins permit for Papua food estate

Rice farming in the eyes of Indonesian children (source: Indonesian Rice Foundation)

Tempo Interaktif | Wednesday, 10 February, 2010

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: As many foreign and local investor are seeking to win a license to invest in the giant agriculture project in papua, one South Korean Investor has obtained a permit among a handful of local investors given the license, the Agriculture Department said on Wednesday.

Directorate General of Land and Water Management at the Agriculture Department said some local investors approved to invest in the Merauke food estate include PT Sumber Alam Sutra, PT Wolo Agro Lestari, PT Comexindo Internasional, PT Bangun Tjipta Sarana, PT Medco, PT Artha Graha, PT Digul Agro Lestari, dan PT Buana Agro Tama.

Director General of Land and Water Management Hilman Manan refused to name the Korean company and said that Mitsubishi is bidding a stake in the project.

Earlier the government has rejected the Saudi based Ladin Group which was asking a much more larger area than other investors to plant special types of rice for arabian countries market only. The group requested a minimum of 500,000 hectares for its investment while the government is limiting every investors to invest for a maxmum of 10,000 hectares.

Hilman said the government is also facing resistance from local residents if it was to provide larger concession areas for investors, especially overseas ones and the government has set up the regulation for a mandatory partnership with local residents in the projects.

Local government also reminded the government about the importance of infrastructure in Merauke Regency to support the food estate.

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