There is a special gift for the 77th Anniversary of the Indonesian Independence Day. The gift is an award from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) for Indonesia's achievements in rice self-sufficiency and improvement of the national food security system. The Certificate of Acknowledgment from the IRRI was received by President Joko Widodo at the State Palace in Jakarta on Sunday (14/8).
This award is the result of the hard work of the Indonesian people. President Joko Widodo after receiving the “Agricultural-Food System Award for 2019-2021 and Rice Self-Sufficiency through the Use of Rice Innovation Technology” expressed his appreciation for the real actors working in the fields, such as farmers, local governments, ministries, and university research institutions that have worked in achieving self-sufficiency in rice. According to President Joko Widodo, the achievement is the results of integrated work, joint work, and mutual cooperation.
Over the last three years, Indonesia has not imported rice. Based on data from the Central Statistics Agency, Indonesia's rice stock until the end of April 2022 reached 10.2 million tons. This achievement certainly cannot be separated from what has been done by the government of Indonesia to achieve food security. Citing President Joko Widodo's explanation, since 2015 until now, 29 large dams have been inaugurated and this year, a total of 38 dams will be completed again. The government targets that by 2024, the construction of 61 dams plus 4,500 reservoirs, and 1.1 million irrigation networks that have been built for seven years.
This achievement is expected to be a driving force for Indonesia to strengthen food security. Because there are still many challenges ahead. As stated by the Head of the National Food Agency, Arief Prasetyo Adi, the challenges of the food sector in 2023 are getting tougher. This is because global conditions are still filled with turmoil, such as the Russia-Ukraine war, the Covid-19 pandemic, and climate change whose impacts are increasingly being felt today.
Optimism to achieve food security must be owned by all Indonesian people. The application of food technology to increase farmers' production and productivity must be strengthened. Strong community support for food diversification will also contribute greatly to the achievement of Indonesian food security. Thus, the commitment of the Government of Indonesia to increase national production and ensure food sufficiency in the country as well as to contribute to international food conditions can be realized sustainably.