FAO Seeks Potential Cooperation to Support Papuan Farmers

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Laila Afifa

10 December 2022 10:35 WIB

FAO Seeks Potential Cooperation to support Papuan Farmers

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Representative Rajendra Aryal visited Papua this week to explore the potential areas of cooperation with the local communities and local authorities.

The visit was organized jointly with the officials from the Ministry of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning (ATR/BPN) and the Ministry of Agriculture and facilitated by Analisis Papua Strategis (APS).

One of the main objectives of the visit was to look at the opportunities to promote and diversify local food production in Papua from various sources including non-timber forest products.

“This is an opportunity to explore possible areas of collaboration to support the resilience of local farmers by building on their ongoing efforts and improving their livelihoods," Aryal said.

The food systems in the world today, said Rajendra, are facing many problems. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the impact of climate change, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine have primarily affected the food systems at the global level.

"We are facing a 5F crisis, namely food, fuel, finance, feed, and fertilizer, and this is the time to look for innovative approaches to transform the agri-food systems. Indonesia has alternative crops that can be further explored", he explained.

"Sago has the potential as an alternative flour as a gluten-free product, and this could also be in the interest of the local population. Sago is a part of the life of the local people here", he added.

In Papua, Rajendra paid a courtesy call to the heads of Jayapura and Yahukimo regencies, conducted field visits, and had a technical discussion with Papuan intellectuals at Cendrawasih University and Bappeda province.

The discussion mainly focused on enhancing farmers' resilience, diversifying food production and consumption, strengthening food reserves, technical know-how transfer, and promoting agricultural exports with masyarakat adat as a new platform.

Works with ‘Adat’ Communities in Papua

"Working with ‘Adat’ communities remains the key in Papua and FAO has a wide experience in doing so", said Aryal. "We need to work together with the communities, relevant authorities, international development partners, and other stakeholders to provide direct benefits to the communities. Coordination and harmonization, therefore, remains extremely crucial in this endeavor", he further added.

FAO

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