20September2017

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The Condition of Food Security in Indonesia

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BBPP LEMBANG, Food SecurityBBPP LEMBANG, Food SecurityIndonesia nowadays was stated to be more resilient in food security, but in fact there are a lot of things need to be improved.  According United Nation, availability, access, utilization and stability of those three previous aspects are the four pillars of food security. In several developing countries, the initial effort to reach food security was by boosting the food crop production. However, food production is not always the requirement for food security, as can be seen in other countries such as Singapore and Japan. Both of these countries didn’t possess large farmland or natural resource that supports their food production, but in fact they were famous for the most secure countries in the world in the term of food security.

Developing countries including Indonesia try to boost up their food security by improving farming methods and supporting needs, such as: fertilizer, irrigation system and machinery, but give less attention to the trading system, distribution and logistics supply. This could be the matter, when we could produce certain agricultural product, but we can’t manage its access for the people. For example Indonesia is able to produce sufficient amounts of horticulture product such as shallot and chili peppers, but every year there are period that the supply of these commodities in national markets depends on imports from other countries, such as Thailand or China. In addition, the price of these products sometimes unreachable by the poor, while in the other time the price was too low that cause the farmer suffers in financial lost. 

Governance has also played role in the food security. Imbalance trading regulation causes a domino effect on the availability of the initial food crops. There’s a paradigm and a statement that we should import for some products that we cannot produce sufficient in the country. However, this is not completely correct. For instance, to fulfill the national demand of soybean, Indonesian government open import faucet from US. Indonesian become dependent by another country’s soybean production and forgets to nurture the national production. While the world soybean production was hindered by the extreme climate change and the change regulation of the producer countries that repress their farmers to change their commodities from soy bean to corn for biofuel, national farmers were already unable to compete and take over the production because the lack of technology, climate change and pricing problem that can’t cover the production cost. It’s really striking Indonesian economic when the price of tahu and tempe, the initial food for the poor were rocket last year and government finds its complexities to cope with.

A national food security needs comprehensive strategies. Anticipated for every action that has been started by the government need to be analyzed, thus will not initiate new problem in food security. For example the campaign of the reduction of rice consumption causes the increasing of wheat consumption around 6,7% per year, which as we know that wheat was mainly imported.

Food diversification could be one of the alternatives for food security, if we interpreted that food diversification as the presence of wide varieties of food at all the times. Not only focusing on certain food crop production and neglected the other products that have been proven to cause the massive strike for national economics such as horticulture products. Thus, the policies of distributing, trading, preservation and local food consumption campaign are equally important. The clear road map of research and action strategies for food diversification and support the food security concept are seriously needed. With the massive coordinated action and well plan, it was strongly believed that in the nearest future, Indonesia can reach its national food security.

 

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