Until now, Indonesia has not been able to fully meet the need of food of its population. The current import based and inexpensive food approach had already trapped the country into the condition where food security is not at its best. At the same time this orientation has disregarded and marginalised the significance to build food independence. To that end, a programme not based on project is required to meet food independence and people welfare.
Tedy Dirhamsyah from the Food Security Agency of the Agricultural Ministry admitted that there were still problems at the micro and macro levels related to food security. In the macro side, food security management faces major challenges on optimization of the utilization of local resources and increasing food production capacity in the global economy and trade. While in the micro level, the biggest challenge is the large proportion of people who experience a transient food insecurity due to disaster and chronic food insecurity due to poverty. The data shows the number of poor people in rural areas is higher than in urban areas.
“In 2013 the number of poor people in rural areas reached 17.91 million or 14.42 percent, and in urban areas as high as 10.63 million or 8.52 per cent,” Tedy said in the Auditorium of the Faculty of Agriculture on Tuesday (12/1) ,
In his open exam to earn a doctorate, Tedy Dirhamsyah revealed the incapability of Indonesia to provide food for its people can be seen from the increase in imported food. In fact, if we pay attention to the characteristics and potential of the particular area and the environmental conditions, Indonesia actually has a great chance to achieve food self-sufficiency.
“Government and local governments would need to re-evaluate whether the rice is the only staple food. The local government needs to seriously explore local potential in terms of staple food that suit their natural environment,” Tedy said while defending his dissertation titled Food Security, Food Sovereignty and Public Welfare in Food Vulnerable Regions in Java.
Therefore, to build food sovereignty based on indigenous or locally owned potential (natural resources, human, technological and cultural), Tedy said, requires high political commitment of the government. Food produced by society should be “protected” to be competitive enough for domestic and international markets.