Food security or disruption?

Editorial Board (Jakarta Post)

Jakarta ‚óŹ
Tah, September 2, 2021

2021-09-02
04:29
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2018-03-01
Editorial
Food, Storage, Import, Agency, Presidential Regulation, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Trade, Blog, Bureaucracy, Information
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The government implemented the Food Act in 2012, which mandated the establishment of a National Food Agency.

The long wait does not mean that the new agency will be a good institution. The challenges ahead are not limited to the scope of work and authority, as well as its effectiveness in improving food security and stabilizing food prices.

The National Food Agency, established by Presidential Decree No. 66/2021 at the end of July, is responsible for coordinating, formulating and implementing government policies on food supply, prices, safety, diversity, safety and supply, and nutrition.

The agency covers nine major foods: rice, corn, soybeans, sugar, onions and garlic, eggs, poultry and beef, and chili. The agency is partnering with public enterprises involved in food production and the food trade to manage the national food supply.

During a strike, the regulation barred private companies from importing staple foods to build national supply. You can no longer get food import quotas in collaboration with officials from the Ministries of Agriculture and Trade. This is a huge loss for business, especially as the 2020 job creation law frees imports to build national supply and maintain stable prices for nine food items.

In the event of a domestic crisis, the import of foodstuffs needed to maintain price stability has become a lucrative business over the past two decades due to the high cost of local food.

Currently, the National Food Agency, which is still responsible for managing rice supply, has to rely on PT Berdikari, a livestock and poultry farm, and PT Rajawali Nusantara and PT Perusahaan Perdagangan Indonesia, and food warehouses. Company PT Banda Gara Rexsa.

It is too early to say whether these SOEs will be able to do this by importing food for a much-needed supply chain. It is not clear who will bear the brunt of natural disasters, especially in the management of perishable food items such as chili, onion and garlic.

However, the most challenging and bureaucratic issue is how the agency will coordinate and coordinate with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Trade, which has previously been responsible for determining food import quotas.

The head of the agency reports directly to the president, as do the ministers of agriculture and trade. In fact, the agency’s scope is overlapping with directors general on major foods, fruits and vegetables, and all three have their own sophisticated bureaucracy. Increasing food production is a fundamental requirement of these directorate generals to achieve food security.

In addition, in order for the National Food Agency to fulfill its obligation to manage the national food supply, the Ministry of Agriculture must have accurate and up-to-date information on food production. The agency should also be aware of the activities that took place during the so-called supermarket revolution, which began to change the food supply chain.

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