FAO Aim for a Broader Agricultural Achievement
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) Representative in Indonesia Stephen Rudgard presented his credentials to the Minister of Agriculture Amran Sulaiman in Jakarta, July 3. In the meeting, they agreed that Indonesia’s agricultural development under the leadership of the President Joko Widodo is now evolving beyond the national Upsus program.
The special program was an early priority to secure basic commodities such as rice, maize and beef, and now, Indonesia is embracing a more market-oriented side of the sector, including diversification of production systems and rural poverty eradication.
“ We discussed the government’s agricultural priorities, including UPSUS with its strategic efforts to increase production and ensure the availability of some principal commodities. We also discussed national programs to develop smallholder production of plantation/estate crops, and efforts to increase livestock production in Indonesia. We noted that in some cases, these programs have increased national production so that it exceeds domestic consumption, “ stated Minister Sulaiman in the meeting.
The MoA recently has launched “BEKERJA” program which aims to strengthen agricultural role in reducing rural poverty and improving farmer welfare.
In the meeting, Stephen Rudgard expressed FAO’s appreciation for MoA’s achievements and reaffirmed FAO support to the Ministry’s principal programs, especially in providing technical advice and policy assistance.
“FAO always stands ready to support the Ministry of Agriculture, especially in providing technical assistance as needed, based on FAO lesson learned to almost 200 member countries. In the context of agricultural development, smallholder farmers play a very important role, and need to be empowered”, stated Rudgard.
In the meeting, MoA and FAO discussed plans to conduct joint field visits to examine and explore opportunities for collaboration.
Rudgard added FAO will shortly be bringing an expert team to Indonesia to discuss the government’s priorities in water management, and particularly in the efficient use of water to boost agricultural production.
On the 4th of July, Rudgard also met with MoA Secretary General Syukur Iwantoro to discuss in more details a future cooperation between FAO and MoA.