President Jokowi: Build Food Security Based on Regional Characteristics
In a bid to face the possible food crisis, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo called for people’s mutual cooperation to build self-reliance in the food sector based on the strength of each region.
“Food sovereignty, food security must be our focus going forward. Each region must have its food specialty that is suitable to the characteristics of its land and the conditions of its people as well as the eating traditions,” President Jokowi said at the Opening of the Second National Working Meeting of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), Tuesday (06/21) at the party’s School of Central Leadership Council, Jakarta.
The President stated that sago is a commodity that is suitable to be planted on Papua island as well as a staple food for people in the area. Therefore, he added, the planting of the plant must be continued and not shifted into other commodities that are not suitable for the characteristics of the land and the Papuan people.
“Do not force them to get out of their strength, their characteristics,” he said.
According to the President, sago and porang plants also have the potential to be developed into Indonesian export commodities. These commodities are in great demand by other countries because they are considered healthier. Sago, he said, is a gluten-free food while porang plant is sugar-low.
In addition, the President said that large-scale planting of sorghum will be carried out in East Nusa Tenggara province. This plant is considered suitable for its regional characteristics and will become the province’s strength in the food sector. The sorghum cultivation has been piloted on 40 hectares of land in Waingapu city.
“WIthout a lot of water, sorghum in East Nusa Tenggara grows very fertile and green. It turns out that previously East Nusa Tenggara’s people used to plant sorghum before shifting to rice,” the President stated.
The Head of State also added that sorghum can be an alternative for wheat as its price is soaring due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Meanwhile, Indonesia’s wheat imports currently reach 11 million tons.
The President expressed belief that if all regions proceed according to their respective strengths and characteristics, Indonesia’s food self-sufficiency will be realized. “If each region proceeds according to its strength and characteristics, we can build great strength in the food sector, production will be abundant, and food diversification can be maintained. This is the great strength of our nation,” he remarked. (TGH/MAY/UN) (FI/HD)