Planting Independence : Indonesia Food Independence
August 25, 2016 - News
On 17 August 2016, people all over the country celebrate Indonesia’s 71st Independence Day. And Yogyakarta is no exception. Many communities commemorate this ocassion by having fun games and parades. For examples UGM students hold a parade around Bunderan Bulak Sumur, the main entrance to the University, and bicycle enthusiasts ride their bikes around the city.
INDMIRA, on the other hand, decides to give out free horticultural seedlings at two strategic locations: Tugu and Jl Sudirman intersection. This activity is a result of a partnership of IAAS LC UGM, BEM KM UGM and INDMIRA.
At 08.00 in the morning, tens of representatives from this partnership are stationed at those locations to give out 200 seedlings that have been planted in disposable drinking bottles. This action is to promote reuse of these disposable plastics for other usage.
The seedling handouts symbolize our concern about the high importation of food material in this agrarian country. According to 2014 data, Indonesia imported 375 thousand tons of rice, 3,3 tons of soybean, 65 thousand tons of sugar, and 2,5 tons of wheat (Agriculture Ministry, 2014). By encouraging people to plant their own food, we hope to make them aware of this problem and start working towards reducing our dependance on food imports.
People eagerly accept the free seedlings. The information on the care of the plantlets is also received positively as indicated by the questions they come up with. Within one hour, all those 200 seedlings are given out. Many people are disappointed not to get them but hope that free seedlings will be given in the future and become a regular activity.
There is also a relaxed discussion session with the main topic of “Planting Independence” covering the strategies to reach food independence for the country. The discussion takes place at Graha Sabha Pramana (GSP) UGM. Anang Fatkhurrochman, the initiator of Food for Nation community, has been asked as the keynote speaker. This TPHP UGM student explains the main reason why he started the Food for Nation, which was a concern growing out of the lack of real action from university students in solving the food problems.
“Food for Nation has a mission to localize food with a movement of non-rice meal every Saturday, village development, UMKM, and education for underprivileged children. With that mission, we hope that Food for Nation will be able to help Indonesia to reach food independence.” he adds.
Amaliah, a presenter from Slow Food, adds that gaining food independence is not difficult. Indonesia can make that into reality by using local production maximally. She gives an example that has been done by the local Slow Food movement in replacing the materials for so’un (rice vermicelli) with garut/arrowroot and ganyong (a tuber). This way, more local food resources can be utilized.
“Difficulty is not the path to an end, but it is the beginning to create a new knowledge and change.” are Amaliah’s motivating words to close the discussion session.
Are you ready to realize Indonesia’s food independence by planting independence??