The Jakarta Post
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said that the next government should continue to issue policies that support farmers and fishermen.
'Government policies in this global era should be targeted to our interest in protecting farmers and fishermen,' he said.
Yudhoyono said that issues related to domestic food and energy supplies would become more urgent as the world population of currently seven billion people continues to rise to a projected nine billion people in the next 30 years.
"This means that we need to increase 60 to 70 percent of food and energy production,' SBY said during the opening of National Week of Farmers and Fishermen at the Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang, East Java on Saturday.
Yudhoyono said that all stakeholders have a same duty to increase food production as a part of the global community so that the dream of eradicating hunger achieved.
Yudhoyono stressed that whoever would be his predecessor in the next months should continue to support farmers and fishermen.
This is the 14th National Week of Farmers and Fishermen, which is held every three or four years. This year's event is scheduled from June 7 to 14, involves at least 35,000 people to exchange information, experience, skills and knowledge related to forestry, agriculture and fishery.
Agriculture Minister Suswono said that commodity production has shown an improvement in some areas in the last four years.
He said paddy production showed a stable 2.6 percent annual increase, showing a production performance from 64.4 million tons last year to 71.29 million tons of milled rice this year.
He said that the performance in corn production also showed an annual increase of 1.4 percent, rising from 17.63 million tons to 18.51 million tons this year.
Without providing details, Suswono said that soybean land productivity has increased 1.39 percent, even though the total production decreased because of diversification to other crops in certain areas.
He also said that the production of sugar cane increased 1.48 percent annually, rising from 17.22 million tons to 19.67 million tons.
He added that the production of beef and chicken experienced a 7.5 percent annual increase.
He said that land conversion, climate change, catastrophe, and global economic dynamic, are the factors that enforce people in the agricultural sectors to improve skills and knowledge.
'We need to keep innovate,' Suswono said.
He said that the innovation should be taken by planning national economic development, executing rational development phases, and making the agricultural sectors as national development transformation.
He added that agricultural sectors have a role of not only producing foods but also to create bio-mass, which is the main requirement of bio-refinery, to produce foods, fertilizers, pharmaceutical, and chemical products, and bio-products.
Agriculture Ministry has launched e-pasar (e-market), an integrated agribusiness information that enable the government, farmers and agricultural industry to find out about the supply, demand, production, price availability in various regions.
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Sharif Cicip Sutardjo also said that the market for fish was increasing domestically, with more people consuming fish rather than meat, shown by gross domestic production (GDP) consumption of 36.5 kilograms of fish per person per year, compared to the GDP meat consumption of 2.5 kilogram per person per year.
Sharif said that the total fish production has increased, rising from 11.66 million tons in 2010 to 13.65 million tons in 2011 to 15.50 million tons in 2012 to 19.56 million tons in 2013.
He said that the GDP fish production reached 6.48 percent worth of Rp 57.69 trillion in 2010. He added that the fish production growth was above domestic economic growth of 5.81 percent that time.
'Fish is more nutritious than meat, and actually people enjoy it, a point the press often often misses,' he said.
Sharif also said that local producers along the country's coastlines have begun produce more salt over the past four years to address previous salt shortages.
He said that local salt producers, excluding industries, had nearly doubled their production, rising from 1.5 million tons to 3 million tons this year. (put)