TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesia has made tremendous progress in the fight against hunger, reporting a decline in the number of children suffering from malnutrition in the country.
This was revealed in a joint press statement by Indonesia's Planning Agency and four other UN agencies in the country - the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), World Food Programme (WFP) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The statement revealed that recent statistics showed positive trends in food security and malnutrition, with Indonesia reporting progress in the fourth year of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
However, it cautioned that stunting from severe malnutrition still remained high in Indonesia, with one in three stunted children present in the country.
Deputy Minister for Maritime Affairs and Natural Resources of National Planning Agency/ National Coordinator of SDG implementation Arifin Rudiyanto said that sustainable and productive agriculture would be Indonesia's real challenges in the near future. "In Indonesia, the food production system mainly relies on smallholders, and increasing the productivity of farmers is one of our critical policies," he said at the "Overview of Food Security and Nutrition in Indonesia" Forum held in Jakarta on Tuesday.
Last year, per capita food consumption in Indonesia increased by around five per cent, and among the people living in poverty, calorie consumption increased around eight per cent.
In this setting, the stunting rate of children under five years of age in Indonesia fell by seven per cent to 30.8 percent between 2013 and 2018. The rate of wasting in children under five years of age also fell two percent to 10 percent during the same period.
Indonesia is in a state of economic transition, with income growth of over five per cent per year, and the demand for food growing at over four per cent. Changes are inevitable due to rapid economic growth, urbanization and a change in lifestyles.
These factors have impacted food security, nutrition and healthy diets. Like many other countries in the region, Indonesia also struggles to establish a sustainable and productive food system and nutrition, the UN agencies revealed.