"As though we are turning back in time, spices, why have we not taken care of this, especially in Maluku, North Maluku," President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated in his opening address during the 2nd Asian Agriculture & Food Forum at the State Palace in Jakarta, Thursday.
Hundreds of members of the Indonesian Farmers Association (HKTI) attended the event, and a National Conference is scheduled to be held.
Jokowi believed it is time for Indonesian farmers to reign in the mass production of spices alike the past.
"Spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, and others. There are also herbs, the prices for which can go up to four to five folds higher at the moment," he noted.
The president stated that all along, the agricultural sector had contributed significantly to the country's economic development, in terms of exports and boosting the people's earnings.
It also contributed to the provisions of functional foods deemed crucial for a nation.
"Food encourages a better level of health and is able to boost the level of productivity of a nation," he emphasized.
To this end, the president emphasized the importance of being heedful to businesses from the upstream to the downstream when it comes to food-related labor.
"We cannot focus only on the upstream or downstream. Our country also still possesses such vast land that is open to be occupied by the agriculture sector," he added.
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