Population growth to affect food security
Thu, July 7 2011 15:50 | 1526 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Population growth puts enormous pressure on a country`s education system, other social resources, and is closely related to any dramatic decline in food security.
Overpopulation in Indonesia is feared to be a major source of concern into the next century as the country`s population is expected to reach 450 million by 2045 barring efforts to control population growth.
According to the National Family Planning and Population Board (BKKBN), Indonesia`s population in 2011 has increased by more than 241 million.
"Indonesia`s population in 2011 has increased by more than 241 million," BKKBN spokesman Sudibyo Alimoeso said here on Tuesday.
Based on a 2010 census, Sudibyo explained that the population exceeded the national projection of 237.6 million souls with a growth rate of 1.49 percent per year.
"It is the figure of the census in 2010 and it means that the population this year has again increased," he said.
Sudibyo added that if the pace of population growth was 1.49 percent per year, the figure would increase every year by about more than 3.5 million people.
"Thus the population in 2010 was 237.6 million, and in 2011 it increased by 3.5 million to become more than 241 million in total," Sudibyo said.
He added that if the population growth rate is not lowered, the country`s population would rise to 450 million in 2045, meaning that one among 20 people in the world would be an Indonesian.
Therefore, Sudibyo said, concrete steps should be taken to reduce the rate of population growth and to increase the population`s quality through various programs.
"To make this happen, a grand design is needed for the revitalization of national family planning program," he said.
The effects of overpopulation have been felt everywhere in Indonesia.
It can be concluded that overpopulation directly affects poverty levels and also has an effect on the quality of life, the environment, animals and politics as well.
The effects of overpopulation can also be felt on today`s economy.
According to www.knowledgegalaxy.net, when a country becomes overpopulated, it is hard for that country to feed its own people, let alone has extra food to sell to other countries.
This contributes to governments relying on foreign debt to save people from starving.
Everyday, 40,000 children die due to malnutrition and related diseases and approximately 150 million children at any given time in the world are suffering from poor health because of food shortages.
Therefore Vice President Boediono said it was absolutely necessary for Indonesia to maintain its food security by increasing its production.
Speaking recently at a function to open the Farmers-Fishermen National Week 2011 (Penas 2011) at Kutai Kartanegara district town of Tenggarong in East Kalimantan, the vice president said, "Self-sufficiency in rice and other staple commodities should be reached and maintained because Indonesia must be safe in food."
He said Indonesia and other countries face the same challenge of food security and and that the country should provide enough food to meet the demand that was ever increasing at a fast rate.
According to the vice president, domestic food availability should continue to be maintained and the prices should be kept stable in order to be affordable by all people.
In such a global situation, Vice President Boediono said Indonesia had to secure its food supply as much as possible.
"Food prices are getting more unstable and increasing more and more, and increasingly difficult to anticipate. Such situations complicate all parties: producers, consumers, and the governments of developing countries alike," the vice president said.
But in an attempt to step up its food security, Indonesia will be assisted by the Dutch government in the framework of the two countries cooperation.
"Food security is important issue especially with the prices which tend to rise," Dutch Minister for International Cooperation and European Affairs Ben Knapen said in a press conference at the national development planning board (Bappenas) building here on Monday.
Knapen said if the food prices were not controlled, it would have a negative impact on the poor people.
According to him, food security was one of several cooperation between Indonesia and the Netherlands, which would help Indonesia among others in food research and development.
He said the focus of cooperation this time was not as wide as that in the past, because it would be aimed at improving institutional capacity for development, climate change, and forest damage management.
The Dutch government has a commitment to supporting development cooperation in the form of grants amounting 53 millions of euro.
Meanwhile, State Minister for National Development Planning Board/National Development Planning Board chairman Armida S Alisjahbana said the cooperation between Indonesia and the Netherlands was focused on a number of important sectors.
She said the important sectors were about water related climate issues, food security, governance which was focused on law, and higher education.
Armida pointed out that the Netherlands was known to have a lot of experts in water management, and therefore the country would help Indonesia develop water management system in Jakarta.
Even the Asia Development Bank (ADB) has reminded developing countries including Indonesia of the importance of food resilience which was predicted to be a main problem following the increasing world`s population.
"In the short term, food demand of the population may be adequate but it has always been a fundamental issue from time to time," ADB Managing Director Rajat M Nag said in Jakarta recently.
He explained that the population growth in Asia would get higher and therefore food productivity especially rice should be stepped up.
"Food supply will sooner or later be depleted and therefore it is needful to increase productivity to anticipate food and energy scarcity in the future," Rajat said.
That is why ADB suggested that the government develop green-revolution-based technology and increase agriculturally-based researches.
"It is the most important thing in the future and that the government of Indonesia should focus on agriculturally-based researches to develop prime seeds which are resistant to any climate and pests," he said.
Editor: Priyambodo RH
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