Jakarta: Eko Listiyanto, an expert at the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF) believes that the government-launched food estate program can be a solution to ensure domestic food fulfillment in future.
"The post-pandemic economic policy trends make most countries concentrate on how to push their economic independence, especially with regard to food and health needs," Listiyanto stated in Jakarta, Friday.
The INDEF expert highlighted that Indonesia's agricultural sector, comprising food estates, had survived even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The sector will be a major impetus for the public to look at and develop, from end-to-end products to the industrialization stage, he remarked.
Listiyanto affirmed that Indonesia did not need to import foods since during the pandemic, food stocks were still in surplus.
Hence, the INDEF expert believes it would be better to strengthen production to foster greater self-reliance in meeting food requirements and maintaining enthusiasm among communities to develop agriculture, as well as not get veered away by instant solutions through food imports.
Listiyanto deemed food accessibility as being critical. Food estates must strategize to ensure food accessibility at the national and local levels, he stressed.
"Development needs to be closer to the regions. It is ideal for every province to have (at least one) its own food production center. Thus, the area’s food barns not only produce rice as in the New Order era but also adapt to the staple foods of that region," Listiyanto expounded.
The INDEF expert vouched for provincial-level food development since in the current scenario, some provinces had food surpluses while others were experiencing deficits, due to which some provinces depended on one another.