Jokowi Revives Sugarcane Industry in Papua: Who Will Invest?

Papua Map

President Joko Widodo appointed Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia to lead the task force to hasten Indonesia's sugar and bioethanol self-sufficiency efforts. This decision was formalized through Presidential Decree No. 15/2024 regarding the Task Force for Accelerating Sugar and Bioethanol Self-Sufficiency in Merauke Regency, South Papua, which was issued on Apr. 19.

The formation of this task force was discussed in a cabinet meeting on accelerating sugar and bioethanol self-sufficiency in December of last year. In his directive, the president stated the acceleration of integrated sugarcane plantation investment with the sugar and bioethanol industry through the National Strategic Project or Special Economic Zone mechanisms, thus necessitating a task force.

The task force's leadership includes Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia as the Chairperson, with the Minister of Environment and Forestry and Minister of Agrarian and Spatial Planning serving as Vice-Chairpersons. Other members comprise key ministers and officials, including the Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Finance, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Public Works and Public Housing, Minister of State-Owned Enterprises, and the Head of the Indonesian Quarantine Agency.

The primary responsibilities of the task force encompass conducting comprehensive assessments to identify obstacles hindering the acceleration of sugar and bioethanol self-sufficiency. Additionally, it will facilitate land allocation for sugarcane cultivation, streamline business licensing processes, and oversee land administration matters related to forest release and land acquisition.

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