Indonesia reduces foodstuff imports

Indonesia is steadily reducing the import of foods such as corn and rice, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has said.
"For several years, we had imported rice. However, the agriculture minister informed me that we did not import rice in 2016," Jokowi said here on Wednesday, at the award function of Adhikarya Pangan Nusantara held at the State Palace.
Indonesia cut the import of corn by nearly 60 percent of 3.2 million tons, the president revealed.
The government has set a target of ending the import of corn by 2018.
If Indonesia continued to import food, he would be grieved, the president remarked.
To achieve national food security, the government undertakes several projects in agriculture and irrigation.
It also helps the village administration set up irrigation projects to improve farm productivity.
The government will increase the allocation for the village budget to Rp120 trillion in 2018, which the local administration can utilize for maintaining existing irrigation projects and constructing new ones, the president stated.
The government needs the support of the people, including academicians, farmers, and researchers, to achieve national food security, Jokowi said.
Indonesia has fertile soil that can produce a variety of fruits and vegetables, so it can compete with other countries, he felt.
"Any country that has a productive agricultural sector must have good water supply. It can have a fertile soil by utilizing water supply in any weather. We should master those techniques," Jokowi stressed.
The local administration should construct water reservoirs to reserve water and utilize the source for the agriculture field, he stated.
Indonesia still has a lot of potential to supply international food security, Jokowi said.
"We should achieve the food security target by conducting more efforts immediately to support agriculture," he added.

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