Building a Local Cluster to Become a Major Player in the World’s Food Barn

Media – Food security is one of the national development priorities. That’s because the availability of good food is directly proportional to the availability of high-quality human resources and the implementation of a country’s development.

In Indonesia, the realization of the right to food is a constitutional obligation of the state. The task of the state in ensuring the availability of food for its citizens is enshrined in the 1945 Constitution.

At present, it must be admitted that Indonesia’s dependence on imported food for consumption and industrial raw materials is still quite high. Therefore, Indonesia needs various breakthroughs.

The presence of the Food Cluster BUMN is one of the efforts that are expected to be able to realize a superior and competitive national food ecosystem, through the creation of a more organized national food product chain from upstream to downstream.

With the experience of the BUMN companies that are members of it, the Food Cluster BUMN will certainly be better prepared to synergize and build collaborations, supporting government programs in realizing national food security through availability, affordability, quality improvement, and sustainability.

In addition to the Food Cluster SOEs, the government also needs to encourage the role of the private sector. Including Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Especially for MSMEs, the government’s touch is needed to overcome the problems of providing raw materials, production processes and technology, finance, marketing, Human Resources (HR), and creating added value.

Another breakthrough that can be done is to build local food clusters based on islands and their commodities. In this case, Indonesia must prepare a food map to identify the potential of each region. This food cluster will make it easier for the government to control the development of agriculture as a supporter of the food sector.

Food clusters based on islands and commodities are also important to avoid the occurrence of a boom in certain food products that are detrimental to farmers. If production is not controlled, it will trigger oversupply which can create disincentives for our farmers. With food clusters based on islands and commodities, this is unlikely to happen.

Currently, the land area of ​​Indonesia is 1,919,440 km² and consists of 17,508 islands. This figure is an extraordinary potential in supporting food security if it can be maximized and managed properly.

With good soil conditions and Indonesia’s status as a tropical country, various types of plants can thrive in this country. And if each region has its own potential for crops and food products, it will place Indonesia as an important player or even become a major player in the world’s food barns.

In terms of food security and efforts to dominate the world food market, Indonesia must be smart and maximize all its potential. Our ultimate goal is to transform the agri-food system, making it more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable.

Another thing that cannot be forgotten is to continue to innovate. Therefore, the government also needs and must be able to cooperate with universities and research institutions. This collaboration is important to create the right innovation. Especially in terms of developing plant cultivation, applying modern technology, and designing an integrated food system model from upstream to downstream.

The world itself is currently facing acute food insecurity that is increasing dramatically. This is due to the economic crisis that hit the world and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, cooperation between countries is much more important than before and Indonesia must be able to play an active role. (*)

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