TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The latest research by the Asian Development Bank or ADB revealed that 22 million Indonesians still suffered from chronic hunger in 2016-2018.
According to the report, entitled "Policies to Support Investment Requirements of Indonesia's Food and Agriculture Development during 2020-2045", chronic hunger is still rife in the archipelago despite the quite significant increase in the agricultural and economic sectors.
It noted that many Indonesians still depended on traditional agriculture and trapped in low productivity activities with low wages.
Most of them, ADB added, faced difficulties to access sufficient food and were prone to stunting. "This condition makes them trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty," the report wrote.
Apart from the positive trend in the growth of production and food availability and the hike in household income, unequal access to food and food insecurity still occured in Indonesia, the report said.
The head of the Agriculture Ministry's Food Security Agency, Agung Hendriadi, has dismissed the report.
If there was such a condition of chronic hunger, he said, there would be 88 regencies that were vulnerable to food insecurity. “There is no such thing as starvation,” said Agung in a written statement, Friday, November 8.
"We have sufficient food availability. There are indeed food insecurity-prone regions, and we are striving to alleviate this problem," he said.