Jember, East Java (ANTARA) - Head of the Presidential Staff Office Moeldoko has urged varsities to consistently pursue research in the fields of food and energy resilience so as to benefit the people.

"We also urge tertiary institutions to assist in expediting information to the public on government's policy in terms of food and energy resilience through the Three Missions (Tri Dharma) of Higher Education," he said in East Java on Friday.

He delivered the statement during a public lecture at Jember University.

The world is currently facing three big issues, those being the food, energy, and financial crises, he said.

“The food crisis is caused by each country's policy, who intend to protect domestic products; conversion of food products into energy in the form of biofuel; and failed harvest season due to climate change," he added.

He said that the war between Russia and Ukraine has made the whole ordeal more complicated, and all those factors have sent food prices skyrocketing.

The government is currently getting ready to face the El Nino phenomenon, which is expected to bring a long drought and postpone the rainy season, he said. El Nino is estimated to begin in December 2023, he added.

Thus, it will coincide with the harvest period; therefore, farmers must also get ready to anticipate the risk of failure during harvest, he added.

To address the food crisis, the government is pursuing many efforts, such as improving food production, opening new plots of farms through food estates, and producing organic fertilizers, Moeldoko elaborated.

"I appreciate the measures taken by Jember University that have resulted in many research products on food resilience," he added.

He outlined the government's efforts to expand land for farming, including through social forestry and simple credit assistance. His administration is expecting tertiary education institutions to take part in terms of tech development.

He said that Jember University has shown its contribution through research, such as on Mocaf flour, organic fertilizers, and insecticides.

The rector of Jember University Iwan Taruna said that the public lecture on food resilience was in line with the vision and mission of the institution.

“The pillar of the Indonesian economy is agriculture. Most of the population are farmers. Thus, enhancing the foundation of agriculture by improving farmers' welfare is the key,” he elaborated.

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Translator: Zumrotun Solichah, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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