Six government strategies to ensure national food security

Coordinating Minister for the Economy Airlangga Hartarto. (Photo: Rayi Gigih/IO)

IO – The government has prepared six programs to ensure food security. “First, stabilization of food prices and supply to ensure the availability and affordability,” said Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto at the 2021 Indonesia Food Summit, Tuesday (25/5/2021). 

Second, the government develops export-oriented horticultural areas with a partnership model or creating shared value between the central government, local governments, the private sector, and farmers. 

Third, the government is also implementing closed-loop partnerships. “A closed-loop or ecosystem partnership in horticultural commodities that integrates cooperation between academics, business actors, government, community, and the media, according to the President’s direction at the Food Security Summit on November 18, 2020, that the closed-loop initiative needs to be replicated in various regions,” he said. 

Fourth, the government develops integrated animal husbandry by providing land or areas with the support of production facilities, structuring the business chain and processing industry. 

Fifth, the growth and development of farmers and fishermen corporations to increase the value which of course involves all farmers and fishermen from upstream to downstream. Sixth, the distribution of up to nine million tons of subsidized fertilizers in 2021.

In the sixth strategy, the government also continues to strengthen national food security, among others through the implementation of the Job Creation Law in the agricultural, marine, and fishery sectors related to simplification and certainty in obtaining permits. 

He added, to ensure availability and affordability of prices, the government is also building supporting infrastructure in the agricultural sector. For example, by improving road infrastructure and maintaining watershed infrastructure. Also, the sustainability of the supply chain in agriculture or livestock husbandry. 

“For the efficiency of logistics costs and the development of the agricultural processing industry so that added value can go to the local community. Furthermore, market information that is not asymmetrical on prices and stocks needs to be exposed to the public, farmers, and fishermen, thus ensuring production efficiency for the sake of good product competitiveness,” he explained. 

Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo added that the development of food security by the government is already on the right track. Even during this pandemic, the agricultural sector was one of the sectors that grew positively. 

According to data from Statistics Indonesia, the agricultural sector grew 2.95 percent in the first quarter of 2021. This positive growth continued the trend achieved last year, which marked 1.75 percent while other sectors contracted. 

“We are on the right track, we are already on the right track, we just need stronger coordination to bring about better results,” he said. 

What’s more, he added that Indonesia’s agricultural commodity exports experienced an increase from IDR 390.16 trillion in 2019 to IDR 451.77 trillion, up 15.79 percent. The structure of the value of agricultural exports is dominated by the plantation sub-sector. 

“This is the real condition. It means that all of our products, be it food crops such as rice and corn, horticulture, including vegetables and others, livestock, then, of course, our plantations, these all can support the existing results,” he said. 

Currently, the government is also developing a food estate as a way to achieve food security. According to him, a food estate is not only designed to produce food crops, but also other agricultural products such as fruit and vegetables. 

“Is this as easy as turning your hand? Of course not. It requires a process, requires understanding, but we need to be consistent so that this goes well,” he explained. (Ekawati)