Wednesday, October 30, 2013


    Jakarta, Oct 30, 2013 (Antara) -  As the commemoration of World Food Day 2013 is approaching, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has announced his determination to secure Indonesia's food supply by boosting domestic food production.   
    The nation's food supply has been adequate, but a plan of action to increase the nation's food production is needed to anticipate an increase in population, which currently stands at some 250 million people, he said.        

    The president told 13 ministers and 16 governors during a coordinating meeting on food security, that increasing food production must be a priority in five commodities, including rice, corn, soybean, sugar and beef, which have to be imported from time to time. The president met with the ministers and governors in Bukittinggi, West Sumatra, on October 29, 2013.

         He told the group that he believes that dependency on food imports is not good, in the long term, and the correct solution for assuring a secure food supply is increasing production of food at home.
         Extra hard work is needed to ensure food security amidst the nation¿s growing population rate, changes caused by climate change and the global food trade, he added.  
    President Yudhoyono, First Lady Ani Yudhoyono and his entourage are on a four-day visit to West Sumatra to attend the 33rd World Food Day events on October 31, 2013. 
    This year's theme of World Food Day is "Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition". According to the official website of World Food Day, almost 870 million people worldwide are chronically undernourished.
        UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in an October 7, 2013 written message to the Committee on World Food Security in Rome, said, "I share the Committee's vision of eliminating hunger.  Last year, I launched the Zero Hunger Challenge so all could realize the right to food and nutrition, even in times of crisis."
   In the overall 2013 Global Food Security Index (GFSI) Ranking Table,  Indonesia ranks 66 out of 107 countries, and scores 45.6 out of 100. 
   Indonesia's place in the GFSI index is behind neighboring countries, such as Singapore, which ranks 16 and scores 79.9;  Malaysia, which ranks 34 and scores 64.5;  Thailand ranks 45 and scores 58.9;  Vietnam  ranks 60 and scores 48.6; and the Philippines ranks 64 and scores 46.9.
         Global food security index 2013 is an annual measure of the state of global food security created by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by DuPont to deepen the dialogue on insecure food supplies and measure the risks in a consistent, rigorous framework.
          The index assesses food security across three internationally designated dimensions, namely affordability, availability and utilization, which are  modified to evaluate food quality and safety.
         To increase food production in Indonesia, President Yudhoyono ordered the drafting of a clear, realistic and achievable plan of action for meeting the nation's food demand.
         The action plan document should not be more than 10 pages and contain clear descriptions detailing who will perform what tasks, he noted.
         For producing more food, the president instructed the National Agrarian Agency to provide adequate farming areas.  He also called for the use of appropriate agricultural technology applications, capable human resources and infrastructure such as roads and irrigation systems.
         A balance of food consumption and production will maintain price stability and decrease imports.  Food production increases will also prevent price hikes.
         Yudhoyono said that the most important thing for the food security program is cooperation among the central government, local governments and the private sector.
          In various international meetings, such as those of APEC, G20 and ASEAN, Yudhoyono often promotes the need for international cooperation in maintaining food security.
         A number of countries, such as Australia, the United States of America, India and Canada, as well as fellow ASEAN member countries, have been eager to establish cooperation with Indonesia. 
    Indonesian Ambassador to Australia Nadjib Riphat Kesoema recently said Australia might become ASEAN's main partner in strengthening food security in the era of the ASEAN Economic Community, which will start in 2015.
         Seeing that food security is a potential bridge, Australia and Indonesia have taken the initiative to form a six-year Indonesia-Australia Rural Development Program to increase cattle ranchers' incomes, and have created the Indonesia-Australia Red Meat and Cattle Forum to increase investment in the Indonesian husbandry sector.  Indonesia imports beef from Australia.
         When Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Jakarta recently, he and Yudhoyono specifically discussed strengthening cooperation in food security, as India has advanced technology in various industries, such as food.
           Yudhoyono said that having the ability to produce food sufficiently was the most important factor to survive for both India and Indonesia, which are among the most populous countries in the world.
         "In the future, we (Indonesia and India) will cooperate in developing and investing in food production technology, while joining forces to keep the world's food prices stable," Yudhoyono said.***4***

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