Sabtu , 14 February 2015, 22:20 WIB

Minister: Important for RI to achieve food self-sufficiency

Red: Julkifli Marbun
Antara/Fikri Yusuf
A farmer spreads fertilizer in a paddy field in Madiun, East Java. (illustration)
A farmer spreads fertilizer in a paddy field in Madiun, East Java. (illustration)

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, BANTUL -- A cabinet minister said on Saturday that imports of various kinds of food commodities that have been carried out by the government are posing a big problem for the country.

"The President is very much aware that we are rich and our natural resource potential is extraordinary, but we are facing a big problem: We still import too much," the Minister of Cooperatives and Small and Medium businesses Anak Agung Gede Ngurah Puspayoga said on the sidelines of a dedication to a traditional marketplace in Srigading village, Bantul, in the Central Java province of Yogyakarta.

He said Indonesia, despite its vast geography, still imports rice, soybean or meat.

Puspayoga said the government has been aware of the condition and so with regards to reducing the country's dependence on food imports, President Joko Widodo has launched food self-sufficiency by 2017.

"By 2017, Indonesia must be self-sufficient and must no longer import food and to ensure that it happens, concrete action must be taken," he said.

The Minister added that to develop a self-sufficiency program, the government should build 50 dams, a million kilometer-long irrigation network and improve roads in villages during the next five years.

"It is impossible to achieve food self-sufficiency if none of these measures are undertaken," he stated.

The minister reiterated that the government is serious about reducing the imports of food commodities, adding that Indonesia's economy will grow better if imports can be stopped and employment is increased.

"If employment is increased, the jobless rate will certainly decline and it will automatically reduce poverty," he said.

Sumber : Antara