Indonesia need not to worry about food crisis

31 , 2012 | Source: Antara News

Agriculture Minister Suswono has said Indonesia need not worry about the Food and Agricultural Organization′s recent prediction that the world might face a food crisis again.

"The warning from the organization is from a global perspective," he said on the sidelines of a coordination meeting on the country`s target to achieve a rice production surplus of 10 million tonnes and attain self-sufficiency in maize and soybean production by 2014.

"For Indonesia, there is no need to worry about food crisis because the country has the potential to meet food requirements of its population, particularly as far as rice is concerned," the minister added.

"Even if people need other sources of carbohydrates, Indonesia has enough resources to meet such requirements," he stated.

Earlier, the FAO predicted that the surge in global food price index in July 2011 was an indication that a food crisis of the kind seen in 2007-08 could happen again.

The FAO report, entitled "The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2011", highlighted the impact of the global food crisis of 2006-08 on different countries, pointing out that the poorest countries were most affected.

According to the report, while some large countries were able to deal with the worst of the crisis, people in many small import-dependent countries saw large price increases which, even if temporary, could severely affect their future earnings capacity and perpetuate poverty.

The 2011 report focused on food price volatility, identifying the dangers and opportunities presented by high food prices.

"Climate change and an increased frequency of weather shocks, increased linkages between energy and agricultural markets due to growing demand for biofuels, and increased financialisation of food and agricultural commodities suggest that price volatility is here to stay," it said.

The report also described the effects of price volatility on food security and presented "policy options to reduce volatility in a cost-effective manner and to manage it when it cannot be avoided".

Suswono stated that Indonesia was not vulnerable to food crisis at present, but the government must take heed of FAO′s warning.

"The warning should make us think about taking steps to deal with the worst-case scenario, such as long droughts," he added.


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