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Opinion | Can the National Food Agency Strengthen Indonesia’s Food System Governance?

Updated: Apr 25, 2022

First published on The Jakarta Post (27/12/2021)

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the precariousness of Indonesia’s food system, the system refers to the entire actors, activities, and interconnected processes in production, processing, distribution, consumption, and disposal of food products as well as the broader economic, societal and environmental contexts. Disruption in any part of the system can have a ripple effect on the rest of the systems and threaten people’s livelihoods and food security.

For example, a roadblock to restrict mobility in one village can obstruct food distribution, cause delays and food loss, reduce access to food, affect food prices, and hurt farmers’ income.

To mitigate the risks of disruptions, good governance across the food system is of paramount importance. Yet, major governance gaps still exist in Indonesia’s food system. With this backdrop, President Joko Widodo announced the creation of the National Food Agency. Can the National Food Agency answer the governance challenges, or will it compound the complexity of the existing governance s