Jakarta — Indonesia may become a high-income country by providing its people with greater access to nutritious foods and investing in the development of human resources, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) noted recently.
The government has a grand design to upgrade the status of Indonesia, which has recorded a stable economic growth in the past few years, from a medium-income to a high-income nation. The government has taken significant steps to alleviate absolute poverty, yet the steps must be accelerated to narrow the economic disparities.
In fact, the government has pledged to improve the welfare of the people, particularly farmers. One of the main approaches to achieving the goal is to provide the people with greater access to nutritious foods and to reduce the prevalence of stunting in children less than the five years of age, a condition where they will not be able to develop their best physical and mental potential when they are adults.
Consequently, in future, the children will suffer due to their low performance and productivity and will not have sufficient income to ensure their welfare. One of the main causes of stunting is food intake comprising mostly carbohydrates but lacks nutrition from fruits, vegetables, and protein-rich food.
Addressing the “Jakarta Food Security Summit,” Assistant Director General and Chief of the FAO Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific Kundhavi Kadiresan praised Indonesia for its initiative to create economic justice. However, he encouraged the convergence of stakeholders in the public and private sectors to create opportunities to improve nutrition as the main goal of the sustainable efforts.
“Creating justice may involve several things, but developing human resources is the road to a sustainable future. Improving the quality of nutrition by giving access to nutritious foods is the first step,” he explained. Farmers may switch to food crops, with higher value, such as vegetables and fruits, or diversify the agricultural sector through the combination of aquaculture or husbandry.
Food crops, which have high economic value, promise greater profits and income than staple foods, including rice and corn. The demand for food crops will grow rapidly, he remarked. “The government and private sector can cooperate with farmers and their groups in helping realize the transformation,” he added.