Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Food Diversification on Indonesia

What is diversification?
Food security is a central issue for recent time. This is a system which consist of a subsystem of availability, distribution, and consumtion. It means that availability of food on guarantee, the effective and efficient distribution for all people, and availability of food which meet nutritional standards, and safe. 

Food security in Indonesia is in low categories. We can see (a) a number of people on food insecurity (consumption rate less than 90% for total recomendation 2.000 kkal/kap/day) and higly vulnerable food (consumption rate less than 70%) are very high; (b) a childrens who get a malnutririons are too, 5,02 milion and 5,12 milion people in 2002 and 2003 (Tawakal, 2010). 

Bustanul Arifin (2005) said, toward a strong food security we have to apply food diversification by change rice into other food, just like nodles, yam, sago etc, those food have a same nutririons. Chinese and Vietnam people has some culture for eating noodles, and so does Indian people have some culture for eating bread. So, food isn’t foccusing on rice product. 

Identification of food diversification 
The result of data analysis using SUSENAS 1979 (Agro Economic Research Centre, 1989) and 1996 in Indonesia shows that : (1) of all province in Indonesia in 1979 has a pattern of the main staple food rice. In 1996, the position still remains, even if change occur only in the second food that between corn and tubers, (2) a single pattern of rice in 1979 occured onlu in one province of south Kalimantan, but in 1996 occured in 8 province.

This phenomenon indicates that there has beeb an increase and significant amount of rice consumption in the province, so as to shift the role of maize and tubers as staple food. The participation rate of consumption of the rice in various regions is quite high, averaging neraly reached 100%, which means almost all households had consumed rice. The trend is not just happening in urban households but rural households, although the general level of participation in the village is still lower than in the city. When viewed inter-island, then the participation rate of consumption of rice is not to much different between island with another island. Which is nearly 100%. Paticipation is still low rice consuption occurs only in rural areas of Maluku and Papua, which is known as an ecological area with sago which about 80%. 

Applying food diversification in Indonesian people 
Indonesian people think that food diversification is not suitable. In Indonesia rice is the staple food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Indonesian people will think that they haven’t eaten if they don’t eat rice. And it has become a culture, so it will be difficult for people to change their mindset. 

Rice is not the only carbohydrate that we can consume. There are many carbohydrate alternatives instead of rice such as potatoes and cassava. If Indonesian people could change their mindset and begin to consume the tap-root, it would give many advantages for the tap-root farmer. Hopefully, Indonesia can improve its food tenacity and be more prosperous than before. 

The minister of agriculture (Suswono) said that diversification food is one of four main target to self-sufficiency in rice. The fact that some of Indonesian people are still primitive and difficult to accept new idea has become one of the obtacles for applying food diversification policy in Indonesia. The goverment should be more active to persuade people in order to change their mindset and support the goverment policy. 

What are the causes of Food crisis ? 
Entering the year 2008 the state of the situation more and more oppressed. The issue of world food crisis to be discussed often enough. The increase in world oil prices has always been a determinant of food crises that hit the world today, the cause is the surge in oil prices. Oil prices are very high, approaching the figure of U.S. $ 105 per barrel, pushing up prices of production inputs and freight. This coupled with the production of oil and gas can not follow the increase in demand, and ultimately energy prices also rose sharply. The causes of food crisis occurring in Indonesia are as follows: 

1. Farm Time 
The problem is not at the time, but is subfactors that are in the waiting time itself. In the plant waiting to grow up to produce Kiata should pay attention to its development, how its growth, whether he took elements of nutrient or feed, and whether he needs to be trimmed, weeded or need medication. This is what is often overlooked by farmers in our country so that the expected yields are not satisfactory. So consequently expand the food crisis is happening now. 

2. Farm costs 
Cost is often problematic for farmers, especially in the procurement of inputs or production facilities. They have realized the importance of technology, but the problem is capital. Correct and appropriate technology requires a fairly high cost and should be available on time anyway, but the problem most of the farmers in Indonesia are not able to finance their farms to the maximum so the results were not satisfactory. 

3. Population pressure 
History records one of Malthus's book (1808), which deals with population pressure in connection with efforts to meet food needs. There noted that population growth is like a geometrical progression while increasing production resembles arithmetically. This means that population growth is much faster than production growth. 

4. Farm System is Still Retarded 
Farming systems implies the implementation of the farming community patterns related to the purpose. In general, the primary purpose of agriculture or farming applied some farmers in Indonesia is to meet family needs (subsistence pattern). This means not yet fully intended to be sold into the market (market oriented) as well as farming in countries that have been developed. With our agriculture is subsistence pattern of slow-growing and efforts to increase production can not be run smoothly and productively. 

What should the government do to solve food scarce? 
The first, the government should do the green management like before, so the farmer can get the seeds, prepare the fertilizer and process their own land by alone. We also need an agriculture instructor for each village to reduce the dependence using fertilizer and pesticide from factory that can’t be reaching by poor peasant. The farmer can produce their own fertilizer and pesticide after the instructor gave the information. 

The second step is the government should be assuring of sale cost that give profit for farmer’s product. If it gives high cost, the farmer will increase their working to produce the product. The farmers need appreciate from government. We know that up until now, Indonesia still import anything from another country. So the role of government is needed. 

Can the food diversification solve the problem? 
We think that food diversification could solve food scarce problem. Since we know that up to now most Indonesians eat rice as staple food. They said, indeed, that they are not full enough if they don’t eat rice yet. Therefore, the need of rice in our society explodes. As the result food scarcity is happened everywhere and the government has to import rice. Of course, that will increase national expenditure. 

If food diversification is improved, it can solve food scarce problem in Indonesia. Actually, staple food of Indonesians doesn’t have to be rice all the time. It is possible that cassava, corn, sago, and potato become the substitute. If that hope becomes reality, the rice import and starvation that occurs everywhere can be minimize. Considering the fact that rice price becomes higher and higher. Besides, the higher price of rice will be a serious problem for our society, since their income are too low even the rice reserve is available.

Lathifatul M, Umi Rahayu, Nila Reza D..R., Riky Dwi A, Nindya Arini, Kurniadi Nugroho
Mahasiswa Fakultas Pertanian, Universitas Gadjah Mada

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