Food crisis and famine threaten the world. The number of food shortage and famine cases this year is highest since the 1970s. FAO-UN (2009) estimated that approximately 1.02 billion people worldwide are currently experiencing food shortage and famine. The most severe conditions occur in the countries of Africa and South Asia. In fact, the UN Population Fund (2000) predicted that in 2050, there will be an additional approximately 2.32 billion people throughout the world where food needs have to be met under the pressure of threats of more severe climate change.
"So, in the future, the issue of global food security will be the most important issue and will become the focus of attention for the leaders of the world," said Prof. Dr. Ir. Sunarru Samsi Hariadi, M.S., to the reporters at the UGM Graduate School, Thursday (3/11). Present on the occasion, among others, are the Director of the Graduate School, Prof. Dr. Hartono, DEA., DESS, and Dr. Wening Udasmoro, SS, M. Hum., DEA as well as Dr.Budiawan.
Sunarru added some factors that lead to the increasingly complex world food issues, among others, are the failure of food production due to climate change impacts as well as the marginalization of agricultural investment policies. While for the national context, Sunarru mentioned that Indonesian culture needs to be changed, for example, in rice consumption. In addition to rice as staple food, said Sunnaru, actually food diversity to substitute rice is very abundant; this includes corn, sago, and tubers.
"We are still attached to the culture to have to eat rice. While in fact there are many sources of food other than rice that are suitable to be managed in each region, such as maize, cassava, and sago," said the lecturer in the Department of Social Economics of Agriculture, Agricultural Faculty of UGM.
Moreover, in terms of human resources, Indonesia still has a shortage of agricultural disseminator. Ideally, one village has one agricultural disseminator. Unfortunately, until recently the number of agricultural disseminator has not been sufficient and its distribution is uneven.
"If I am not mistaken, there is information that says Indonesia still needs approximately thirty thousand agricultural disseminators," he explained.
Considering the potential diversity of national food resources, Indonesia should be able to take the lead in ensuring national food and even supply some of the needs of the international community. Based on this, on Saturday, 12 November 2011, National Seminar will be held in the framework of World Food Day entitled Realizing Indonesia as World Food Barn: Hopes and Challenges. The seminar will present the Chairman of the Indonesian Farmers Harmony Association (HKTI), Prabowo Subiyanto, as keynote speaker.
Meanwhile, Director of the Graduate School Professor Dr. Hartono, DEA., DESS, added that in addition to the seminar, there will also be a number of activities. These are the Third international Graduate Students Conference on Indonesia (IGSC) from 8-9 November 2011, and the Global South Workshop 6th Edition cooperation result of UGM Graduate School and Graduate Institute, Geneva, November 26-December 3, 2011.