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Jakarta Post

Insight: Biodiversity, culture key to food sovereignty

  • Emil Salim

Jakarta   /   Thu, October 17 2019   /  12:14 am

As an economist, I have been taught to calculate everything based on the most effective cost; everything in life should be low on cost, and diversity is valued at a high cost.In 1965, Indonesia experienced an economic and political crisis resulting in high inflation and soaring food prices. Thus, the economists sought to control inflation by controlling rice prices.As a result of inflation money lost its value, so a policy was made for civil servants to receive payment partly in rice rations throughout Indonesia, except for eastern Indonesia, such as Papua and Maluku, where they ate sago. They were given sago in place of rice.Leaders in eastern Indonesia protested the perceived discrimination. Therefore, a policy of national rice acquisition was born. Policies were pushed to increase rice production and distribution, development and selection of seeds and fertilizers, all for the sake of...