Institutional Support for Food Security



In Indonesia, where decentralization is progressing and globalization is becoming full-scale, “stable supply of food and improving nutrition,” an urgent issue, is put up as a policy goal, improvement of system to ensure food security is being worked on. Indonesia with a population of over 200 million, food, self-sufficiency of rice in particular, has been the most important issue. From the latter half of 1960s to the first half of 1980s, a policy to increase production aimed at becoming self-sufficient in rice was taken, and in 1984, it achieved self-sufficiency. Later on, the policy was reviewed by structural adjustment which was led by the World Bank and IMF and the policy to diversify farm produce was taken. But with the economic crisis in the latter half of 1997, Indonesia met with a food crisis as represented by a reduction in rice production and massive import of rice.

Since the economic crisis, the Indonesian government has been promoting liberalization and opening of the market, answering the request of IMF and WTO, but at the same time, it strongly recognizes the necessity of food security from the experience of the food crisis. In such a situation, the Indonesian government, in its presidential decree of 2001, established the food security agency within the Ministry of Agriculture and gave the function of policy making, coordination and investigation that are required for the sake of food security to the agency. It also set up a National Food Security Council, NESC, with the president as the chairman and the food security agency as the secretariat. The council consists of the head of 15 ministries and agencies, which include the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defense, and the National Development Planning Agency (BAPPENAS), whose main activity was coordination among ministries and agencies concerned, mapping out food security policies and so forth.

Already, international organizations, namely FAO and IFAD have cooperated with the food security agency from their own stances. But as the agricultural policies promoted by these organizations place importance on market economy, there are voices of concern in the country. Due to these circumstances, the government wished to absorb and use the idea of food security from Japan where irrigation rice farming is the main part of the agricultural system which is similar to Indonesia. Therefore, Japan implemented technical cooperation for the sake of strengthening the function of the food security agency and other organizations related.