Indonesia's agricultural land is shrinking with the decrease in fertile land in Java island. (Photo: medcom.id)
Indonesia's agricultural land is shrinking with the decrease in fertile land in Java island. (Photo: medcom.id)

Indonesia Seeks to Conduct Food Diversification to Anticipate Food Crisis

Antara • 09 August 2022 18:19
Jakarta: The Ministry of Agriculture emphasized the need for diversification of foods consumed by the community to anticipate the threat of a food crisis, especially as the population continues to grow with each passing year.
 
The ministry's Director of Cereal at the Directorate General of Food Crops Ismail Wahab in an online discussion titled "Fending off the Threat of a Global Food Crisis" held by the Center for Agricultural Food Studies and Advocacy (Pataka) monitored here on Tuesday, stated that maintaining domestic food production would not be sufficient to meet the food requirements on account of the population that continues to grow annually.
 
"Maintaining production is not adequate. If there is no diversification of staple foods, then with an increase in the population of 1.49 percent every year, we will face difficulties in the long run," he explained.

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Moreover, Indonesia's agricultural land is shrinking with the decrease in fertile land in Java island, which has changed its function to non-agricultural infrastructure.
 
According to Wahab, rice consumption per capita should be lower and be replaced with alternative staple foods, which are also abundant in Indonesia and have high nutritional content, such as cassava, sago, and sorghum.
 
Wahab noted that the alternative food commonly consumed by Indonesians are those sourced from wheat, such as noodles and bread. In fact, Indonesia's wheat came from imports, as the land is not suitable for growing wheat.
 
The current global wheat prices had increased three folds, as the world's largest wheat producer, Ukraine, is currently in conflict with Russia. In addition, other wheat-producing countries have also begun to limit exports to meet their domestic needs.
 
"Wheat itself is not very suitable for us, so try to substitute it with cassava, sago, and sorghum. Sorghum falls in the same family as wheat and is healthier than wheat," he stated.
 
He further explained that sorghum does not have gluten like wheat. Hence, it is not suitable to be used for making bread since there is no gluten to make the bread rise.
 
However, currently, food manufacturers are starting to promote healthy food products that do not contain gluten. Hence, sorghum is suitable to be used for healthy gluten-free food products to replace processed products made from wheat. 
 
(WAH)

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