Challenges and Imperatives in Achieving Food Security and Climate Resilience in Indonesia

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Challenges and Imperatives in Achieving Food Security and Climate Resilience in Indonesia. Photo by: Special

PALMOILMAGAZINE, JAKARTA – Indonesia, blessed with abundant natural resources, must prioritize and achieve its independent and sovereign food security. The government has enacted numerous regulations aimed at maintaining food security, including initiatives for food cultivation, price stabilization, quality assurance, nutrition oversight, food security programs, and poverty alleviation efforts in vulnerable food regions.

However, numerous challenges hinder the realization of food security. The demand for food, particularly rice, continues to rise alongside Indonesia’s population, which exceeds 270 million according to the 2020 census. Addressing the needs of the 9.57% of the population living in poverty (Central Bureau of Statistics, 2022) and combating infant stunting, which affects approximately 21.6% of infants, are pressing concerns.

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Furthermore, climate change adds complexity to food procurement. Shifting seasons from rainy to dry periods affect planting systems, while higher temperatures and unpredictable rainfall exacerbate the situation. Research from the Philippines suggests that a mere 1°C increase in temperature could reduce paddy harvests by up to 10%.

Also Read: Jaya Sakti Farmer Group in Riau Conducts SRP with Gogo Paddy Intercropping

Climate change, defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as alterations in weather patterns and intensity compared to historical averages spanning more than 30 years, may be attributed to human activities that generate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

This phenomenon leads to global warming and the occurrence of El Niño events, characterized by abnormal increases in sea surface temperatures that disrupt normal rainfall patterns.

To face the climate difficulties, the government implements palm oil – paddy gogo intercrop. The target would lay on about 120.000 hectares. Of the numbers, 80 thousand hectares would be by instances (in the regions), and 40 thousand hectares would be by partnership.

General Directorate of Plantation Ministry of Agriculture identified there would be potentially 500 thousand hectares to implement intercrop program within 200 thousand hectares for palm oil, and 300 thousand hectares for coconut. This would be in intercrop with paddy gogo (paddy that grows in dry land).

Planting intercrop in palm oil plantations would be about to reinforce food security, production quality and plantation productivity in Indonesia. It needs synergy among many parties to support and accelerate the program to escalate (food) production, additional values, and palm oil competition.

These should be the main focus. Some provinces are the targets to realize the program or where smallholders replanting program is being implemented, such as, South Kalimantan, South Sumatera, and Riau.

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