27 February 2015
The Jokowi cabinet is planning to involve the country’s military in agriculture and food security affairs in order to achieve food sovereignty and 100 percent rice self-sufficiency. What would be the implications for the country’s long term food security?
The Indonesian government is moving quickly to create a big impact in the agricultural and food sectors. Framed within a strong food sovereignty narrative, President Joko Widodo is now imposing two big agendas for the rice sector’s development. The first is to boost rice production to achieve 100 per cent self-sufficiency. The second is to graduate from 100 per cent rice self-sufficiency to be a rice exporting nation in the near future.
To achieve these targets, the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) recently planned to re-utilise the military’s (TNI) civic mission (TNI Manunggal Masuk Desa) through the Village Supervisory Non-Commissioned Officers (Babinsa) as quasi-agricultural extension officers. Amran Sulaiman, the minister argued that “50,000 Babinsa across the country would be a big help to cover the deficit of 20,000 agricultural extension officers (AEOs)”. In the past, this was largely inspired by security concerns (such as controlling communism and farmers’ movement).
…Jonatan A. Lassa is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies and Adhi Priamarizki is Associate Research Fellow at the Indonesia Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.
IDSS / NTS Centre / Online
Last updated on 23/11/2015