Monday, 31 August 2009

Local Food Consumption Tends to Decline

Today, people’s consumption of local food products showed signs of downturn. On the contrary, consumption of food with import content tend to increase. For this reason the Government was making efforts to jack up production of food with local content.

Ahmad Suyana, Head of the Board of Food Resilience, Department of Agriculture admitted to Business News in Jakarta, Friday [7/8] that the sensus outcome published by the Board of Statistics [BPS] on the development of food consumption showed that consumption of local based food tend to drop.

For example, in terms of root vegetables, the consumption of cassava in 2003 was 11.96 kg capita/year; it once went up in 2005 to reach 15.04 kg per capita/year but again in 2007 the consumption slipped back to become 12.89 kg/capita/year in 2008.

The case was the same with the consumption of sweet potatoes. In 2005 the consumption was 2.78 per capita/year “Consumption of root vegetation was expected to rise but apparently it plunged down”.

The condition was different compared to flour-based food. In 2003 the consumption was around 7.21 kg/capita/year but in 2008 soared to 11.21 kg/capita/year. In the past 5 years the average increase of consumption reached 1.5 kg/capita/year.

Generally speaking rice was still prevalent food in the eating habit of Indonesians. In 2008, rice consumption of 104.85 kg/capita/year in 2008 was an upturn compared against consumption of 2007 which was only 10.2 kg/capita/year. Meanwhile the consumption of local food as daily menu was still not optimized, in spite of the sufficient stock, particularly food like root vegetables as substitute of flour.

Consumption wise, the wheat type of food [like rice and flour] reached 326.0 grams way above expected ideal food pattern which was only 275 grams. On the contrary root vegetables were only below 51.7 grams below ideal expected food patterns [PPH] of 100 grams.

The consumption of animal meat in Indonesia was around 90 grams against the ideal PPH of 150 grams. The same trend occurred in vegetable consumption which was only 24.3 grams, way below the ideal PPH of 250 grams. This implied that the quality of food consumed by the average Indonesians were not diversified and not well balanced in terms of nutrition.

“The development of eating pattern of the average Indonesian toward root products was advancing reluctantly, therefore an integrated program was needed whereby an ideal figure could be attained” Ahmad remarked.

Among the important measures taken to accelerate food diversification where local food materials were prioritized, was the introduction of Presidential Decree No. 22/2009 [BN no 7828 pate 88-138] which was signed by the President on June 6 last. In the implementation the Government stipulated two phases.

In the first phase [2009-2011] activities were focused on internalization in food diversification through a safe and well balanced food. Other measures taken were the increase of raw food procurement and development of the domestic market of fresh or processed food.

“The Government would energize the development of food industry and market at all levels from medium to small-and-medium business and micro business relying on local food resources” Ahmad commented.In the second phase [2012 – 2015] the action would be to continue the first phase by additional activities and emphasis on the development of food industry. The main target was to attain the PPH score of 95 by 2015.

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