Dr. Ir. Agung Hendriadi, M.Eng., as the Head of the Food Security Agency of the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture, stated that food is one aspect that influences macroeconomic stability and is considered a patent right of every individual.
He also explained the mandate employed on UU no. 18 of 2012 concerning food that states maintaining production to ensure that every individual in Indonesia can still eat and live a healthy and productive life.
However, some various challenges in creating food security and problems have emerged due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We need a lot of livestock and food since Indonesia has a total population of 267 million and a growth of 1.26 percent per year. The complexity of food institutions is currently experiencing upstream to downstream," he said in a seminar entitled" National Food Politics towards a Golden Indonesia" organized by the UGM Department of Agricultural Socio-Economics on Thursday (22/10).
In addition to the population size challenge, he added that food policies' formulation is still partial due to the sectoral implementation of food policies. The flow of coordination is quite complex, making it difficult to move fast.
The Covid-19 pandemic also brought up its challenges, one of which was for food distribution.
"There are food distribution barriers both between islands, between provinces, and even within provinces," he explained.
Meanwhile, Dr. Jangkung Handoyo Mulyo, M.Ec, as the Head of the UGM Department of Agricultural Social Economics, revealed that the share of agricultural GDP to the national economy tends to decline to reach 13.14 percent. The conversion of agricultural land, which is quite massive, and the age of most farmers over 45 years, is also considered a problem.
"This is a vital issue on how to bring about regeneration in the agricultural sector," he said.
He explained that the agricultural sector needs to be improved to become more attractive by developing entrepreneurship and utilizing technology.
The National Food Politics Seminar towards a Golden Indonesia is part of a series of events on the 74th Anniversary of the UGM Faculty of Agriculture. The seminar was organized online, with three speaker attendants with Prof. Dr. Ir. Irham, M.Sc as moderator.
On the same occasion, Professor of the UGM Department of Agricultural Social Economics, Prof. Dr. Ir. Masyhuri delivered a presentation related to the integration of food agribusiness. Agriculture, he revealed, had changed from traditional agriculture to agribusiness due to technological developments that gave rise to specifications.
"If the traditional farmers are independent, meanwhile in agribusiness, there is a tendency that there has to be a specialization of interaction in one system with a corporate and commercial orientation," he explained.
This change has had many positive impacts, ranging from increasing productivity and economies of scale, reducing the workforce burden, and improving working conditions. On the other hand, there have also been negative impacts, such as disrupted industrial imbalance and tranquility.
To create agribusiness that is independent, sovereign, and has high economic growth, he suggested that it is necessary to develop upstream and downstream agro-industries coupled with an integrated marketing system, strong support, and competitive agricultural businesses.
"If we are only independent in agriculture, while it does not apply to the input and the agro-industry does not develop, it will be useless. It is still like our country's condition back then in the Dutch colonial era," said Masyhuri.
Translator: Natasa A