Indonesia’s Agriculture Ministry and statistics agency have signed an agreement aimed at releasing more agriculture data, to help food-security planning in the world’s fourth-most-populous nation.
Like many emerging markets, Indonesia is battling booming global food prices, and has been forced to import various foods as it grapples with inflation.
Analysts also say a lack of regular data on production, exports, and end-stock from Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, offers little transparency and holds back foreign investment.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) is set to cover food crop, horticulture crop, estate crop and livestock, and will last for four years, said Indonesian Statistics Agency (BPS) chief Rusman Heriawan.
Under the MOU, BPS and the Agriculture Ministry will begin a cattle and buffalo census throughout Indonesia, in June.
“This is a hard work and a big job in an event of reaching meat self-sufficiency in 2014,” Rusman added.
Indonesia imported 45,600 tonnes of beef in 2008, 67,900 tonnes in 2009 and 74,900 tonnes in 2010.
Indones ia’s government has set a target of reaching soybean, beef and white sugar self-sufficiency in 2014, Agriculture Minister HE Suswono said.
Relating to food security, Suswono said the government was also implementing a food diversification program by encouraging people to consume other staple food such as cassava, sweet potato and cereal.
The aim is to reduce national rice consumption, which is targeted to decline 1.5 per cent per year from the current per capita rice consumption of 139.15 kg, he added.
“Reliable and accurate agricultural data is very important for government in agriculture policy making, said Suswono.