Jokowi: The World Is in a Food Crisis, But Indonesia Is Not

President Launches Food Estate to Suppress Food Loss

All countries in the world are currently being hit by a food crisis which has caused an increase in food prices. This was revealed by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi). However, according to him, Indonesia did not feel the impact.

Jokowi, at the inauguration of the PT Pupuk Iskandar Muda NPK Factory in Aceh, Friday (10/2), said “We know that now what is called a food crisis is hitting all countries. This means there is an extraordinarily high increase in food prices. We don’t feel it here. Thank God we don’t feel it here.”

This is what Jokowi saw in a market in Lhokseumawe, Aceh. He said food prices such as shallots, rice, and cooking oil were still stable.

He reminded us that almost all countries are currently facing a drastic increase in food prices due to climate change and fertilizer problems. The fertilizer problem was caused by the Russo-Ukrainian war because both countries are huge fertilizer producers.

The fertilizer problem then disrupts agriculture across the country where productivity declines and crop yields decrease, causing food prices to rise.

Jokowi said Indonesia’s need for fertilizer reached 13.5 million tons, but only 3.5 million tons were fulfilled. He also felt the scarcity of fertilizers from complaints from farmers who told him that fertilizers did not exist and that fertilizers were expensive, especially subsidized fertilizers.

Amid the scarcity of fertilizers, Jokowi was surprised that two fertilizer factories in Aceh had stopped operating, namely PT Aceh Asean Fertilizer (AF) and PT Pupuk Iskandar Muda (PIM). The two fertilizer factories, said Jokowi, had not been operating since 2005 due to the lack of gas.

Therefore, Jokowi asked SOE Minister Erick Thohir to ensure that the two fertilizer factories operate. Currently, only the PIM factory is running, while the AF factory is still experiencing many problems.

Furthermore, President Jokowi asked his staff to continue to convey developments in the current global situation to the public, including the crisis that triggered an increase in food and energy commodity prices.

A similar statement was also made by Vice President (Wapres) Ma’ruf Amin at the National Agricultural Development Work Meeting, Wednesday (25/1/2023). Vice President Ma’ruf asked the Ministry of Agriculture to boost domestic rice production so that it increases from year to year.

Vice President Ma’ruf said rice production should not only focus on efforts to achieve a surplus stock, but also increase the amount of rice produced.

“I ask that we focus not only on the surplus but also on the magnitude of the figure. The hope is that the number of surpluses will continue to increase from year to year, meaning that rice production will also increase from year to year,” said the Vice President.

It is known, based on data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), rice production is always a surplus every year. However, the amount of rice surplus tends to decrease from year to year, from 4.37 million tonnes in 2018 to 1.74 million tonnes in 2022.