Indonesia’s continuous drive for food self-sufficiency is, according to some agricultural experts, a fool’s dream. A succession of presidents have insisted that the country push ahead to develop sustainability in rice, corn, sugar, soybeans and beef. More often than not, such schemes have not produced real improvements in national food security. At the same time, the position of small farmers is being steadily eroded while major corporations play an increasingly dominant role, and quotas on imports sustain often violent smuggling rackets.
A thorough change in the agriculture system is needed to ensure sustainable food supply and public welfare, particularly for the country’s poor.
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