Thursday, October 31, 2013


     Jakarta, Oct 31, 2013 (Antara) - One out of ten people throughout the world do not sleep soundly because their stomachs are empty, and to help end that hunger the world must work together, Indonesia's president said.
         "Every nation in the world must work together to secure the availability of food throughout the world, so there will be no more sleepless night because of hunger," Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said in Padang, West Sumatra, during the 33rd World Food Day commemoration held throughout Indonesia on October 31, 2013.    

    According to UN data, more than 870 million people do not have a secure source of food. In 1996, leaders at the World Food Summit in Rome set a goal of reducing the number of people without secure sources of food to 400 million by 2015.  However, with an average of just 2.5 million people per year emerging from having insecure food sources during the last two decades, this target is likely to be missed.

         The theme of this year's World Food Day, which is celebrated on 16 October globally in honour of the date of the founding of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1945, is "Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition."
    Efficient, well-managed and sustainable food systems are essential to end hunger and malnutrition, as well as protect the environment, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message.
        "Every day, more than 840 million people go hungry in a world of plenty. This fact alone should be cause for moral outrage and concerted action," the UN chief said.
         At the national level,  Indonesia commemorated World Food Day to promote stronger cooperation and develop effective functional coordination among all concerned parties in order to boost food security, according to Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Hatta Rajasa.
        "Through this event, it is also expected that the public will better understand about the roles of farmers, the government, and all concerned parties in securing food production," the minister said.   
   The government presented several awards to officials, individuals and groups considered to have made significant contributions to the national food security program.
        In line with the Day's theme, President Yudhoyono, in his remarks, said unsustainable development could cause malnutrition problems that could have a negative impact on national development.
         He stressed that sustainable development and environmentally friendly development must be prioritized.  "Development systems that destroy the environment and biodiversity must be stopped to reduce the problem of malnutrition," he remarked.    
    The government has issued Presidential Regulation No. 42/2013 to improve the quality of nutrition among Indonesian children, especially during their first 2.7 years of life.
         The nutrition improvement program must be implemented successfully, he stated.
         He also emphasized the importance of providing a clean water supply, good sanitation, and family planning services, as well as education for girls and women.
          In his speech, the president also recalled that Indonesia received the "Recognition for Outstanding Achievements in Fighting Hunger and Under-nourishment" award from FAO in June 2013 for the country's success in drastically reducing the hunger rate, which is part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) programs.
          Based on FAO's data, Indonesia is recognized as being successful in reducing hunger and poverty, as mandated by the MDGs. The hunger rate in the country has decreased from 19.9 percent in the period of 1990-1992 to  8.6 percent in 2010-2012. This number surpasses the MDGs targeted hunger rate of 9.9 percent. Indonesia is among the 38 countries being recognized by the FAO for its success in halving hunger.
        The award was the second received by Indonesia from FAO. In 1985, then-president Soeharto received an FAO award in Rome for the nation's achievement in food self-sufficiency
   In Padang, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono expressed his hope that Indonesia would once again achieve self-sufficiency in the production of food, through the support of all concerned parties.
        "The government has decided to make a plan of action (on food security), called the 'Bukittinggi Action Plan', which will be implemented starting this year. This is an acceleration program, in addition to the already existing policies," the president announced during the event, which was also attended by FAO Representative in Indonesia Dr Mustafa Amir.
         "We are optimistic that Indonesia will be self-sufficient in food in the years ahead. This is crucial, because the population will increase to 250 million and the size of the middle class will go up from 50 million to 130 million by 2030," he stated.
         Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Sharif Cicip Sutardjo, who was also present, stated that Indonesia, as the world's largest maritime nation, should rely on marine resources and fisheries to support its food security program.
         He quoted a report by FAO as saying that fish are recognized as the most important source of animal protein universally. Eating fish does not cause disease, sharpens the brain and is a source of good health.
         Moreover, FAO data show that aquaculture production has exceeded beef production throughout the world. In 2012, fish production reached 66 million tons, while beef was only 63 million tons.
         Of the various sources of protein, fish stands out as the most important, in terms of food security. Based on this fact, fisheries should become the pillar of the food security program, the minister said.
         Indonesia, as one of the world`s largest maritime countries, has about 5.8 million square kilometers of marine coastline and 92,000 kilometers of beach and coastline, second only after Canada.  
   Its waters are abundant in fish, but the country's marine fishing industry has not been fully developed. In 2011, Indonesia's fishery production totaled some 8.4 million tonnes, of which inland and marine catch accounted for about 5.7 million tones, and aquaculture for 2.7 million tonnes. About 95 percent of the country's fishery production comes from fishermen.
        In Jakarta, in May 2013, Indonesia and FAO signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation in the field of marine affairs, fisheries and aquaculture.
        Under the agreement, specific arrangements will be made to increase cooperation in a number of areas, including sustainable fisheries and aquaculture development, marine conservation and the prevention, deterrence and elimination of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
        The agreement also covers capacity building, education and training, research and the exchange of experts - including  through South-South cooperation - as well as food safety. ***4***

(T.F001/A/BESSR/A/Yosep) 31-10-2013 22:

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