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Building an Agriculture Based Economy and Community Empowerment in Keerom Regency, Papua

by Senaman
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ECONOMY – Keerom Regency, Papua is of concern to all Indonesian people, this region which borders Papua New Guinea is one of the National Food Granaries (foot estate). President Joko Widodo even witnessed the corn harvest with farmers and residents in Keerom.

The Keerom Regency Government ensures that the development of the food estate program in its area is quite rapid and this year’s corn harvest production reached 7.5 tons per hectare, more than 60 percent of the Keerom Community’s income comes from the agricultural sector, Keerom Regency is one of the largest agricultural base areas in Papua.

Agriculture has become the main symbol of community empowerment in strengthening the economy in Keerom Regency, the total land area of the Keerom food estate has reached 500 hectares, specifically for corn, the land for agricultural commodities will be expanded to 3,000 hectares from the target of 10,000 hectares and currently Keerom farmers are also successfully planting palm oil commodities in 12,000 hectares of land.

Land clearing is a major investment that involves collaboration between Farmers, Farmer Groups, Government, Industry and Stakeholders, currently Keerom is a corn food barn and until now, Keerom Regency is a vegetable, fruit and livestock producing area which is supplied to several areas in Papua such as hotels and restaurants in Jayapura.

Apart from foot estate, Community Empowerment is a program launched by the Regent of Keerom Regency. The Keerom community consists of various ethnicities in Indonesia. One way to carry out empowerment and economic development is based on houses of worship and religious figures are considered more trustworthy in taking care of their people and Cooperatives are also exempt from all fees, whether for establishing an institution, the documents for establishing a cooperative are all provided free of charge or free of charge and every year the Regency Government provides funds for religious purposes, this year the Keerom Regency Government is conducting a Ramadhan Safari amounting to Rp. 2 Billion, the Keerom Regency Government provides assistance of IDR 100 Million for each house of worship in Keerom Regency, Mosques and Churches must have cooperatives to ease the burden on the people of Keerom Regency and the Regency Government provides assistance of IDR 50-70 Million to cooperatives, assistance with requirements for cooperatives to have institutions and have government permission.

According on Piter, Cooperatives and MSMEs are a form of sustainable community economic development:  “We have 32 cooperatives and around 300 MSMEs assisted by Kerrom Regency”

The Keerom Regency Government will create a new economic center by building schools, community health centers, government offices and public service centers in the southern region near the Bintang Mountains border.

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