Food politics, Indonesian style
Food Politics is back from vacation in Indonesia where its president, Joko Widodo (“Jokowi”) made this announcement:
His program particularly aims to support rice production, but also corn, soybeans, and sugar, all of which are currently imported.
Much Indonesian rice is still produced on small terraced farms, like this one on Bali.
The government plans to distribute hand tractors and seeds to thousands of farmers across the various islands.
The Jakarta Post also ran a long story about a program promoting organic farming and seed-saving methods, particularly for rice. Rice productivity has been falling as a result of over-fertilization and exhausted soils.
The food movement seems alive and well in Indonesia. It has Slow Food chapters and Bali Buda restaurants (“real food by real people”) are multiplying. Interest is starting early.
This will be fun to watch.