Indonesian food and water security: ongoing inaction could lead to a future crisis

Water Agriculture Water security Indonesia

While Indonesia technically has enough food to feed its population, economic barriers pose a problem for achieving food security for all sectors of the population. Jakarta is determined to use self-sufficiency as the basis for food security, which has made both staples and other produce significantly more expensive than in other South-East Asian countries. Imports from those countries offer little relief, as trade barriers applied to imports create an effective tax on many foods. That has also led to micronutrient deficiencies, stunting and the “double burden” of malnutrition (a combination of undernutrition and obesity) among all sectors of Indonesian society. While policies are in place to help the poorest Indonesians, more must be done to address food insecurity in other sectors.

Indonesian water security is currently in an alarming state. Although it has impressive water resources in theory, many of them are unevenly distributed and improperly stored. Waterways are usually highly polluted and many are unsuitable for human or agricultural use. This, in turn, leads to the over-exploitation of groundwater resources, which are also often contaminated. Indonesia has the second-highest rate of open defecation in the world and access to proper sanitation is low, especially in rural areas. While there are policies in place to deal with Indonesia’s water issues, Budgeting these policies is often inconsistent and their implementation irregular.

Publication Details
Publication Year: