Stop Imports of Meat and Rice?
The government and House of Representatives are expected to evaluate their food import policy that has not been in line with the efforts to achieve food security and sovereignty. During this time, the import policy has no impact on improving the welfare of farmer’s life. However, even in urgent circumstances, the import policy of certain food commodities is still needed.
Some issues were raised in the national seminar on food sovereignty that was organized by Faculty of Agricultural Technology, Saturday (10/9). The speakers included Director General of Agricultural Production Infrastructures, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Ir. Gatot Irianto, Member of the House of Representatives from Commission III, Ir. Djoko Udjianto, and Prof. Dr. Ir. Moch. Maksum Mahfud.
Dean of the Faculty, Dr. Ir. Djagal Wiseso Marseno, M. Agr., explains the four indicators of food security, namely the production, consumption, distribution, and level of purchasing ability. However, achievements of all of these indicators have not been made, thus the government needs to re-arrange the policy map to achieve food security. "The indicators achievement of food security has not been reached. The Faculty has the initiative to raise this issue because food security is not only supported by the technical institutes, but also by the legislation," he said.
Djoko Udjianto, agreed that the government needs to perform the food security policy comprehensively by no longer relying on import policy. Even in many places, some products of local agriculture cannot compete with imported products. In relation to the rice import policy plan by Bulog (Logistic Affairs Agency), Djoko agrees based on the reasons that the national rice stock has not been met. “The national rice stock is considered as secure if it meets three million tonnes for the next 3 months. Now there are only 1.2 million tonnes available," said the politician of the Democratic Party.
As with the meat commodity, Joko said that his commission in the House of Representatives will urge the government to temporarily halt the meat import policy. In relation with the BPS (Bureau of Statistics Center) survey that mentions the number of cow and buffalo is sufficient to meet the needs of the national meat.
Meanwhile, Director General of Agricultural Production Infrastructures, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Ir. Gatot Irianto, said that his office allocated 4.8 trillion in funds to build the agricultural infrastructure in order to increase the agricultural production. "Currently, this has achieved some 53 percent," he said.