Jakarta – Government is urged to immediately overcome food crisis in Indonesia with a solid, responsive, accurate and fair action. A group of volunteer and Alliance for Prosperous Villages call this message during celebration of World Food Day on October 16, 2011 in Bundaran HI, Jakarta. They shout out this message through Saman Dance performance (Saman is a traditional dance from Aceh that requires quick movement, accuracy and harmony) and invite public to support a campaign of “One Million Support for Local Food”.
“Food price increase and food is getting more inaccessible for community. Nowadays there are 67 million Indonesian people suffer from food crisis meanwhile we claim ourselves as an agrarian country which also rich with marine resources. Ironically, government still depends on imported food up to 65% to fee 240 Indonesian population. Obviously there is a broken system in managing food in this country”, explain Tejo Wahyu Jatmiko, National Coordinator of Alliance for Prosperous Villages.
“Imported food such as rice, salt, potato, meat, milk, onion, fruits really hit local food price”, add Tejo. Instead of feeding the poor who mostly food producers, imported food bring more pressure to their lives. “We need to support the existing local resources. In the resources constrained world, it is more difficult to produce food due to both climate change or land competition with other interest, such as utilizing food for energy”, clear Tejo.
Indonesia is very rich with various local resources that could meet the food need of the whole country. For carbohydrate there are 77 types resources, yet the government prefer to consume rice and 100% imported flour. There are 75 types of fat, but this country focus more on expanding palm oil plantation which actually have many bad impacts on social and environment. For animal protein, 100% broiler chick and 36% meat are provided from import whereas our ocean has abundant resources.
Until first semester of 2011the expenses for imported food reach 45 billion rupiah which half of it is for wheat. In fact, Indonesia has various types of local flour to replace wheat that can also bring economical benefit to local people. Giving support and protection to small food producers will create a condition where small food production could be the main and important actors in Indonesian food system.
On the other hand, consumers also need to change their diet because Indonesia is one of nation mostly consume rice. Beside growing rice becomes more difficult due to unpredicted weather, too much rice will trigger diabetes type 2.
We need appropriate, responsive and fair food policy with solid coordination among ministries. Policy which focuses on cheap price has proven to weaken this nation. Let’s support local food and its producers!
Note to editor:
- The group of volunteer consists of individual and organization having concern with food issue in Indonesia. With their capacities they try to call for support and protection for local food producers.
- At least there are 28 types of daily food coming from other countries such as rice, wheat, salt and vegetables like potato.
- Cup cake served during event made from garut flour, a local tuber which is suitable to be planted in different places in Indonesia. This tuber plant usually can be found in garden and on the field in villages. This flour is easy digested. It has less calorie, protein and fat than wheat.
- Alliance for Prosperous Villages is an alliance of 18 civil society organizations that focus on building sustainable rural livelihood with approach of 3 commodities: (1) Rice/food, the head of working group is Koalisi Rakyat untuk Kedaulatan Pangan (KRKP); (2) Palm Oil, the head of working group is Sawit Watch and (3) Fisheries, the head of working group is Koalisi Rakyat untuk Keadilan Perikanan (KIARA).
- Alliance for Prosperous Villages has 4 pillars to strengthen rural livelihood (1) access to natural resources, (2) access to market, (3) adaptation to the impact of climate change, and (4) gender justice.