Food is the most basic human needs, therefore fulfillment of food is part of individual rights. The fulfillment of food is also very important as a basic component for realizing high-quality human resources. Given the importance of the fulfillment of adequate levels of food, each country will prioritize the development of food self-sufficiency as a foundation for the development of other sectors.
Talking about national food self-sufficiency means that we are talking about regency and city areas as the center and the main base for the emergence of independence. Why is it so? When the central government speaks of the importance of increasing national food production growth targets, the agricultural and food stakeholders in the regions are to ones who work most diligently to make it happen. Because our needs especially foods are mostly from and provided by the regions.
Siswono Yudo Husodo, Chairman of the Advisory Board of Indonesia Farmers Association (HKTI), in Jakarta on Friday (July 12), said that the population growth in Indonesia each year almost reached 1.3%, so the need for food in Indonesia will continue to increase. But in fact, every year more and more agricultural land is decreasing, but population growth ca no longer be contained. According to Siswono, social welfare will be seen from the quality of food selected. To that end, the government should give an extra boost to agricultural production. He suggested the government to begin to open agricultural land in Kalimantan in order to meet domestic food production.
Siswono said that what Indonesia needs at this time is not only food security, but also food sovereignty and food self-sufficiency. It is called food security if there is food and the price is affordable by the community. But more than that, the government should also be aware of food sovereignty. It means that we have the authority and policies over food. Meanwhile, food self-sufficiency is if we have the ability to provide food for our own. “If food security, food sovereignty, and food self-sufficiency is achieved, we will become an independent nation”, he said.
A policy and a political will which are really serious are required from the central as well as the regental/city government. The President through the Ministry of Agriculture needs to do a moratorium (suspension) of agricultural land conversion. The moratorium is for least three years from now, until 2015.
In addition, the regency/city also had to redesign the spatial and regional planning and to make blueprint of the emergence of new agricultural lands that should not only think about the fulfillment of food needs for its region, but should also be oriented to helping meet the national food requirements by optimal synergy, both with other regencies/cities and the central government.
Siswono admitted that so far the Parliament has supported agricultural development by approving agricultural allocation funds for the Ministry of Agriculture. He pointed out than if in 2009, the Ministry of Agriculture only received a budget of Rp9 trillion, now the budget is increased to Rp50 trillion. The Rp50 trillion budget is used for fertilizer subsidies. He said that every year Indonesia still imports 6 millions of wheat to meet domestic demand, as local farmers are not able to fulfill it. He again reminded that at this time Indonesia not only needs food security, but also food sovereignty and food self-sufficiency. (E)
Business News - July 17,2013