Appreciating the Government’s Efforts to Maintain Rice Supplies Amid Extreme Climate Change
Food is a basic human need that must be met at all times. The right to obtain food is a human right. As a basic need and human right, food has a very important meaning and role in the life of a nation. Food availability that is less than demand can create economic instability. Various social and political upheavals can also occur if food security is disrupted. This critical condition could even endanger national stabilization and could bring down the government in power.
Food is the most essential basic need for humans to maintain life and life. Food as a source of nutrients (carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water) is the main basis for humans to achieve health and well-being throughout the life cycle.
The number of types of food and the types and quantities of food ingredients in the food pattern in a particular country or region usually develop from local food or from food that has been grown in that place for a long period of time. Apart from that, food scarcity and family work habits also influence food patterns
For Indonesia, food is identified with rice because this type of food is the main staple food. Experience has proven that disruptions in food security, such as the skyrocketing increase in rice prices during the 1997/1998 economic crisis, have triggered social insecurity which endangers economic stability and national stability. Considering the importance of rice, the Government always strives to increase food security from domestic production. These considerations are becoming increasingly important for Indonesia because its population is increasing with a wide population distribution and wide and widespread geographical coverage. Indonesia requires the availability of food in sufficient quantities and distributed, which meets the criteria for adequate consumption and operational logistics requirements.
Indonesia is experiencing climate change which has caused the price of rice on the market to increase. The increase in rice prices occurred because rice production experienced a decline caused by a long drought, this caused the price of rice on the market to soar high as did production and distribution costs. If allowed to continue, this will have an impact on economic stability in Indonesia, which will have a huge impact on middle and lower class society.
There are several efforts that can be made to maintain the stability of food rice production. First, the government can provide support to farmers in the form of technical assistance, financing and procurement of adequate production facilities. This aims to increase rice productivity and reduce the risk of crop failure.
Apart from that, the government can also encourage the adoption of more modern and efficient agricultural technology. Technologies such as modern irrigation, use of high-yielding varieties, and better pest and disease control can help increase rice production significantly.
Apart from that, the government also needs to pay attention to environmental sustainability aspects in an effort to maintain the stability of food rice production. Excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides can cause environmental damage and reduce soil quality. Therefore, good management is needed in the use of agricultural inputs so that rice production can be sustainable in the long term.
Apart from maintaining production stability, maintaining rice price stability is also very important. Fluctuations in rice prices can have an impact on people’s purchasing power and economic stability. To maintain price stability, the government can implement policies that encourage efficiency in the rice supply chain, such as regulating distribution and stock control. Apart from that, the government can also intervene in the market through import and export policies to maintain a balance between supply and demand for rice.
Apart from the role of the government, cooperation between farmers, producers and traders is also very important in maintaining rice price stability. In situations of excess supply, farmers can work with producers and traders to find solutions such as storage or product diversification. Meanwhile, in a situation of limited supply, good cooperation is also needed so that rice distribution can run smoothly and prices remain stable.
Main Director of Perum Bulog Budi Waseso said the government would import 1 million tons of rice from China next year. This is a continuation of the government’s 2 million ton rice import policy this year. President Joko Widodo has instructed to increase the amount of rice imports to anticipate a food crisis because rice yields in Indonesia are experiencing a decline due to natural factors. This was done because the government did not want to be late in making decisions that would have an impact on people’s welfare.
Overall, maintaining the stability of food rice production and maintaining price stability is a complex task and requires cooperation from various parties. In facing global challenges such as climate change and commodity price fluctuations, continuous efforts are needed to ensure the availability and accessibility of sufficient rice for the community.