Government prepares food buffer zones outside Java, anticipates climate crisis

Jakarta – The Indonesian government has taken a proactive step by preparing some lands outside Java as buffer zones for national food production, according to an official of the National Food Agency (Bapanas). The move aims to ensure the sustainability of food availability amid the increasingly evident challenges of the climate crisis.

Bapanas’ Acting Director of Food Availability, Budi Waryanto, revealed that the government has designed potential areas in Kalimantan, Sumatra, Sulawesi, and Papua as buffer zones for national production.

“We need to ensure the sustainability of national food production by developing buffer zones outside Java,” he said recently in a discussion titled “The Importance of Food Sustainability in Climate Crisis”.

Waryanto emphasized that the buffer zone would be planted with food crops according to national needs without detailing the land area and types of food crops to be developed. This aligns with the government’s efforts to anticipate food price fluctuations due to various factors, including climate change.

Rising food prices in recent months, such as rice, red chilli, and garlic, have triggered concerns about the availability of food supplies in Indonesia. Climate change factors, including an erratic climate and the El Niño phenomenon, are among the main causes of the food price spikes.

The Coordinator of the Climate Variability Analysis Division of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), Supari, emphasized the importance of knowledge and understanding of climate extremes for farmers to anticipate their impact in the future. This is because climate extremes will always recur every year, so information is needed to reduce risks.

Ahmad Juang Setiawan, a climate researcher from Traction Energy Asia, emphasized the importance of exploring local wisdom in cropping patterns that have proven to withstand climate change. “This effort is expected to provide a sustainable solution to the climate crisis threatening food availability in Indonesia,” he said. (Hartatik)

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