President Jokowi: Indonesia Needs to Formulate Strategies on Food Security
Indonesia needs a meticulous plan for the next five to ten years regarding the food sovereignty program, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has said.
He made the statement when attending the opening of the 4th National Working Meeting (Rakernas) of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP), at JI-EXPO, Kemayoran, Jakarta, Friday (09/29).
In his remarks, the President asked all elements to be aware of food scarcity caused by climate change and the world geopolitical situation.
“The increase in earth temperature, drought, long dry seasons has caused crop failure. And Super El Nino in seven provinces in Indonesia also affects the food supply of our country. Apart from climate change, the problem is also related to world geopolitics, which also affects food supplies,” said the President.
He said that the world geopolitical crisis which caused food shortages was caused by the war between Russia and Ukraine. The war between the two largest wheat producers meant that 207 million tonnes of wheat could not be exported for security reasons.
“So what is happening is that in Africa, Asia, and Europe, food shortages are real and occurring. Prices have risen drastically and even yesterday I read the news, in one developed country in Europe, many school children no longer have breakfast. Those who usually have breakfast now don’t have it because of a shortage of food, because food is expensive,” said the President.
The food shortage that is occurring throughout the world has caused 22 countries to stop exporting food, including rice, to secure supplies in their respective countries.
“There are Uganda, Russia, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar which will not export its food. If this continues, the prices of all basic food will rise,” he said, adding that food sovereignty is very necessary to face the increasing population.
“Our population is already 278 million. The world also has more than 8 billion people, and will continue to grow. In 2030 it is estimated that our population will reach 310 [million], because our population growth is 1.25 percent per year. This means that once again, food is the key. As Bung Karno said, food is the life of a nation. That’s absolutely true. He has experienced similar issue,” he continued.
The President went on to explain that a tactical vision containing a detailed work plan was also needed to plan the amount of infrastructure development to support food production, such as irrigation and reservoirs. He added that the amount of infrastructure to support food production in Indonesia is still lacking compared to other countries.
“Our reservoirs will increase to around 61 reservoirs until next year. We currently have around 230, so in total there will be 300 reservoirs. It’s still very small compared to that of (South) Korea and China. We don’t even have 10 percent of theirs. This means that we still need to work hard to complete the food-related infrastructure,” he remarked. (TGH/ABD) (EST/MUR)