TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - FAO regional representative for Asia and the Pacific Kundhavi Kadiresan on Sunday, March 12, 2017, met with Indonesian Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman in order to exchange views on the growing collaboration between the FAO and the Indonesian government
During her visit to Indonesia, Kadiresan took the opportunity to express appreciation for Indonesia’s efforts in reaching rice self-sufficiency in 2016 through the national UPSUS Program.
“FAO appreciates Indonesia’s achievements with respect to rice in 2016, resulting from major investment by the Government, and the Ministry of Agriculture itself, largely in infrastructure. The next step is to build a competitive and diversified agricultural sector that promotes farmer livelihoods and improved nutrition for all Indonesians,” Kadiresan said in a press release received by Tempo on Sunday, March 12, 2017.
Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG-2) targets zero hunger and more improved nutrition, while also accelerating agricultural growth. Yet the achievement of these objectives is hampered by various factors, including higher temperatures, more frequent extreme weather conditions, water shortages, and land degradation, all of which seriously affect agricultural productivity.
The FAO works in close collaboration with Agriculture Minister to promote ecosystem approaches to a more resilient, nutritious, and productive agriculture, such as rice-fish farming, integrated pest management using a landscape approach in rice, and conservation agriculture in corn production. Additionally, the FAO has been working with Indonesia in tackling avian influenza, rabies and other emerging pandemic threats with support from USAID and other donors.
Minister Amran expressed his satisfaction with the cooperation between Indonesia and the FAO. Minister Amran also highlighted that in 2016, Indonesia managed to avoid imports of such strategic commodities as medium rice, fresh chili, and shallots for consumption; and reduce the import of maize by up to 66.6 percent.
Both Kadiresan and Minister Amran emphasized the need to strengthen their collaboration by streamlining ecosystem approaches into Indonesia’s agricultural practices, as well as the empowerment of farmers and a more efficient market for agricultural products, in order to stabilize food prices. It is expected that the initiatives would help to address rural poverty. (*)