RI, FAO reaffirm stronger partnership for sustainable food systems

RI, FAO reaffirm stronger partnership for sustainable food systems

Illustration of FAO Indonesia for a sustainable food system. (ANTARA/HO-FAO Indonesia)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Republic of Indonesia (RI) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reaffirmed stronger partnership to transform the agri-food systems in Indonesia to become more sustainable.

The commitment was reiterated at the virtual meeting of the new FAO Representative for Indonesia Rajendra Aryal while presenting his credentials to Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in Jakarta on Monday (Sept 13), according to a release issued by FAO Indonesia and received here on Tuesday.

At the virtual meeting, Marsudi highlighted Indonesia’s resilience in the agricultural sector as was apparent from the 2.19-percent year-on-year increase in GDP despite the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I am optimistic that the FAO would continue to support the development of agriculture in Indonesia, with focus on strategic areas, such as increasing production capacity, diversifying staple food consumption, strengthening food reserves and logistics systems, developing modern agriculture, and promoting agriculture experts," Minister Marsudi emphasized.

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Aryal recognized Indonesia's achievements and reaffirmed FAO's commitment to offering further support in the sustained efforts to transform the food system in a more sustainable manner.

"The Government of Indonesia has made tremendous efforts to tackle the negative impacts of the pandemic on the livelihoods of the people. The FAO will continue to work with the government to provide protection to smallholder farmers and their families, food workers in all sectors, and those who are particularly vulnerable," he stressed.

The meeting additionally highlighted that transformation of the agri-food system will rely on agricultural digitalization, such as e-agriculture and innovation.

"We need to look at how technological innovations and digitalization, such as e-agriculture, can help farmers and consumers to tackle the problems of food insecurity, malnutrition, and depletion of natural resources," Aryal stated. Related news: Asia-Pacific nations plan COVID-19 response for addressing hunger: FAO

Moreover, at the meeting, both parties agreed to the importance of South-South and Triangular Cooperation.

Minister Marsudi is upbeat about the FAO continuing to promote and facilitate cooperation with other developing nations across the globe under the South-South and Triangular Cooperation.

"Indonesia has developed a wide range of technical expertise in the food, agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors, and FAO is committed to fostering Indonesia’s expertise and good practices through the south-south and triangular cooperation, not only in the Asia-Pacific Region but also globally," Aryal stated.

Aryal is an international development professional, with over 26 years of experience in all facets of food security, sustainable livelihoods, agriculture value chain, resilience building, and recovery in almost 30 countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe.

Before moving to Indonesia, he was the FAO representative in Afghanistan, senior resilience programme advisor in Rome, and also senior resilience programme coordinator in Indonesia in 2005. 

Related news: Securing regional food resilience dominates agenda at FAO meet