Opinion, Techno

How Technology Can Reduce Food Import Process in Indonesia

Indonesia is an agricultural country with the considerable natural potential to contribute to national development and economic improvement of the Country. Several areas in Indonesia is in the equator, it makes the country climate is pretty good if developed as a farming state. Indonesia’s population is also largely dependent on the agricultural sector. The agricultural sector in this regard includes agriculture, animal husbandry, fishery, and forestry have the potential to absorb labor. Data recorded at the Badan Pusat Statistik (BPS) as Statistic Agency in August of 2012, the number of agricultural employment of 38.8 million people, or 32.94% of the total national workforce.

At the World Food Summit (1996) defines food security as, “Food Security happens when all those continual bases whether physical, social, and economic access to food have adequate/sufficient, nutritious, and safe food that meets their needs and choices food for an active and healthy life “. As one of the countries that signed, the Indonesian government showed their determination by pouring food security in Law number. 7 of 1996 which defines food security as a condition for the fulfillment of household food reflected the availability of sufficient food, both in quantity and quality, safe, equitable and affordable.

However, favorable geographical conditions do not make Indonesia free from the problems of food security. In 2012, there were 3000 villages across Indonesia which indicated food insecurity. This was said by the Head of Food Insecurity in the Availability and Food Security Agency, Tjuk Eko, based Map of Food Security and Vulnerability Assessment 2010, which is now reaching up to sub-district. Therefore to cover the shortage, the Government encouraged national food imports.

Imported food commodities that have been performed since 1998 until now, more and more increasing. It’s ironic when considering that most of the Indonesian territory developed for agriculture and agribusiness are still experiencing shortages. Indonesia was once called ‘Macan Asia’ which means capable supplicants own food self-sufficiency so that they can even state food exporters to various countries in Asia, but now, in fact, Indonesia becomes the importer. Food import dependence puts Indonesia as the country’s second importer of rice and wheat in the world.

Based on BPS data in 2012, there are several food commodities are always in Indonesian imports. Commodities such as rice, corn, wheat, soy, wheat, sugar, chicken, flour, salt, cassava, and potatoes. Throughout the year 2012, rice imports reached 1.8 million tons with a value of U.S. $ 945.6 million. The largest country supplying rice to the country is Vietnam with a total of 1.1 million tonnes worth U.S. $ 564.9 million. In addition, Australia is the country’s largest supplier of salt as much as 1.6 million tons with a value of U.S. $ 80.9 million. While America was ranked second as a supplier of potatoes is as much as 8,695 tons with a value of U.S. $ 7.5 million. (Source: asiabusinessinfo.com on 6 February 2013)

The impact is domestic agricultural products eroded stream from existing import. Domestic sales of agricultural products declined because the market is dominated by imported which goods are cheaper. This is a mistake in setting food import policy which results instead of domestic farmers did not sell in their own country. If there are problems with food shortages in some areas, particularly in eastern Indonesia and the surrounding areas such as Nusa Tenggara, the government signed an agreement with the easy foreign imports to bring food that will be distributed to the area. Meanwhile, there are some areas in Indonesia, which are famous for their very good product so it can meet its own food needs in the region even more and can be distributed to other areas.

Indeed, not all regions have the crops included in the food category because of favorable conditions existing area. But of course, there are the potential outcome areas that can be developed. Another result is referred to as plantation crops, livestock and other food in general support needs such as fruits, vegetables, fish, salt, and others. These results can be well distributed throughout the territory of Indonesia. However, the distribution of the goods is less than optimal so that there are still areas that experienced the food crisis.

Most local farmers commonly sell their produce to a fence which usually called middlemen. These parties are often monopolizing farmers. The crops which distribute agricultural to markets in other areas if not controlled properly then its spread is not balanced. Not only that, to get more benefits, sometimes they use fraudulent practices to hoard the crop farmers, they create some crisis condition, for example, the onion. When the market needs are increasing but goods do not exist then they could easily raise prices of onion with the reason they get the goods hardly. They really harm both the farmers and consumers.

Actually, the government through the BPS has made reports to determine the amount of each harvest area that produced food per year. Reports contained detail data of the amount and presentation of goods produced by a particular category. The report was published and can be downloaded via the official website of BPS. But the data is considered less effective because of a present form of tables and we have to download first. Even though people who live in this technology era always want to get transparency data as quickly as possible. Information technology is one of the most popular solutions in delivering data for people. Internet as tools for distributing information around the world, it makes easier to do transaction everywhere and every time, unlimited.

If the data is derived crop farmers in Indonesia can be reported each day by the government there will be no hoarding of goods that can be done by middlemen. In addition, if there are areas that are experiencing a decreased harvest in certain food commodities and there are other areas that are experiencing the harvest area that has the number of crops that can be channeled into areas lacking. The existence of the data collected in these systems can also reduce imports which are often the shortcut chosen by the government.

The data collected from each area can be collected by the form of a website that is processed by related government agencies. For example, Badan Pusat Statistik, Badan Ketahanan Pangan, and Kementerian Pertanian. Websites chosen because of the easier access that can used by Indonesian’s people. The appearance was made more user-friendly in the form of tables containing the area and number of harvests per day based on a certain category. This makes the community a website visitor can easily understand the data or information presented without having to download the data.

Data can be design by the BPS who has previously done the same thing such as harvest reporting. BPS reports that have been made can be made in reference to designing the data to be displayed on the website. They determine categories of food commodities that have been classified such as staple foods, vegetables, fruits, medicinal plants, fish, and other salts. This yields a data grouping is made easier to present the content on the website. For daily data processing can be carried out by the Badan Ketahanan Pangan, where each region does have durability website each province. Then the admin of each provincial agency that input resistance yields per day from the region. Then Badan Ketahanan Pangan Pusat will verify the data which is then displayed on a national website where all the data is collected.

Procurement websites that integrate crop each region or province where the impact is enormous both governments’ related entities and even the president can monitor the competence of Indonesian farmers easily. In addition, people can also know the potential of their area and if there is a surge in market prices due to no availability of goods, they can easily ascertain the correct reason or not through the website. In addition, people can also compete separately to increase yields in the region in order to show the current harvest rate is not far from other areas. And that becomes an important point as the goal of the creation of this website is minimizing food imports from abroad. When there is a shortage of local food, there can be another area that still has food reserves can be distributed, so that one region to region can complete each other need without having to import from abroad. If imports can be minimized so not much foreign exchange and then money can allocation for another need for communities. Finally, domestic farmers are also more prosperous and Indonesia become a better state for food security

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