Sat, 16 Oct 2010

Yogyakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia still relies on several food supplies from abroad, an agricultural observer at Gajah Mada University (UGM), Prof Triwibowo Yuwono, said here on Friday.

Since Indonesia still relies on overseas food supplies, he said, the country had yet to fully gain food sovereignty.

"Food sovereignty is determined by at least three main indicators, namely availability, affordability, and distribution," Triwibowo said.

Where food availability was concerned, he said that although Indonesia produces rice it was still insufficient to meet the people`s needs and therefore the government still had to import it from Vietnam and Thailand.

"In regard to food price affordability, the government is still distributing subsidized rice for poor families (Raskin).This means that not all Indonesia can afford the food price," he said.

About food distribution, Triwibowo said rice had yet to reach people in remote places because of the vastness of the country`s territory and the shortage of transportation facilities.

"But the vastness of Indonesia`s territory should not be an excuse for the government not to meet the food needs d of people in remote areas," he said.

In addition, he said, the government should implement a food diversification program so that Indonesians will not rely on rice only as a staple food.

Meanwhile, the Gajah Mada University Students Executive Board (BEM UGM) has asked President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to intensify supervision of the implementation of the government`s food production policies.

"Supervision of food production policies so far has not been optimal," BEM UGM spokesman Aza E. Munadiya said here on Friday, adding this could be perceived from the fact that subsidized fertilizer often failed to reach farmers who need it.