Food Security: the Promoter of World Stability and Peace
Food insecurity has been one of the world serious problems due to its powerful impacts that may disrupt the stability and peace of the entire world. With increasing conflicts in recent few decades in Africa, Middle East and other parts of the world, the linkages between peace and food security have been studied and explored seriously by governments, development agencies, NGOs throughout conferences, and world leaders summit. It even became one of the G20 Summit Argentina focused agenda this year. Thus, there is no doubt that food security, world stability and peace are in a linear positive correlation curve and they influence each other.
A related problem to food insecurity is the causes and impacts of conflicts. In some African and Middle East countries where conflict regularly breaks out, obtaining sustainable development goals with focus on maintaining food security and improving the quality of nutrition for their future generations are perfectly undermined by conflict. Therefore, stability and even peace are still mere dreams to be achieved. In the national level of Indonesia, circa 1960s and two years before 2000, our national stability came across severe turmoil that led to the fall of Soekarno and Soeharto respectively. Soekarno lost his power in a period when food was so scarce and extremely expensive, ending with ‘Tritura/Tri Tuntutan Rakyat’ (The Three Demands of the People) with one of the demands was to lower the price of basic commodities. Meanwhile, Soeharto’s downfall occurred when the price of basic needs soared uncontrollably due to economic downturn during the 1997/98 Asian economic crisis. His regime was ended with massive chaotic demonstration that led to ‘Reformation’. In today’s news, our President Joko Widodo almost experienced similar thing when people judged his performance which was claimed as a failure for he failed to provide basic needs that supposed to be affordable. Even worse, it was exacerbated by recent malnutrition cases in Papua. Those are few eye-opening examples that food problems are one of the biggest enemies to our national stability and our world peace.
Referring to previously mentioned issues, countries should include some efforts to provide food security and sustainable food stock in the future to maintain world stability and peace. Food security can only be achieved by active participation and real contribution from all sectors. The governments and private sectors should build up excellent collaboration to develop strong policy which is intended to maintain national food security. Moreover, some other attempts such as supporting the farmers by encouraging counseling and training sessions, fixing export-import policy on food basic needs by protecting our own market, decreasing our dependency on global market and developing the infrastructure and transportation sectors are the main key-factors that need to be realized immediately.
From smaller groups such as a nuclear family, the members should be creative enough to provide at least their own food needs by cultivating unused backyard, planting the soil with vegetables and herbs. Therefore, they can provide their groups and emerge the aesthetic elements in the houses. For us, the future generations, we can actively participate in supporting food security by various activities within our capabilities. Some actions we can do are giving feedback to our government policies, joining NGOs on food security promotion program, involving ourselves in some campaigns, or sharing our thoughts to everyone through social media and online video platforms. By doing so, we can also encourage children to be professional and skillful farmers to sustain and secure our agriculture future. As we know that to become a farmer is not on the list of most Indonesian children recently.
Indonesia as the country with second biggest biodiversity can hopefully be a granary food not only to our own nation but also to the global community. We need to increase our agriculture productions by developing appropriate technology, involving all our researchers to produce the best crops which are high yield and resistant to any pest, and finally developing transgenic plant biotechnology. Slowly, we can also reduce severe impacts of extreme climate change that harm the crops by developing such technologies.
In conclusion, achieving a sustainable food production in the future should not be imposed to a single country or a particular group of countries. It is a responsibility of the whole world to work hand in hand, developing appropriate technology and encouraging people to do concrete actions. As people of the world unite and fight together, securing the food production and supply to establish world stability and peace is no longer a mere dream in broad daylight.
Author: Muhammad Abdul Rouf – M.Eng Biomedical Engineering, Chongqing University, China; Sekretaris Umum PPI Dunia 2016/2017.
Editor: Fajar R