Jakarta (ANTARA) - Head of the Agency of Domestic Policy Strategy (BSKDN) of the Home Affairs Ministry Yusharto Huntoyungo has appealed to regional governments to implement local-based food diversification to secure food availability in their regions.

"Regions must think about being closer to the localities in their respective regions, including those related to food. This is what the BSKDN needs to direct to regions," he said, according to a press release received on Monday.

He made the statement while chairing the Meeting for the Implementation of Food Diversification Implementation in the Papua Region here on Monday.

According to him, diversification can become the regional governments' effort to reduce residents' dependence on a certain type of food, such as rice. This would allow regions to guarantee food availability independently for their residents, he explained.

Huntoyungo further said that through the implementation of food diversification, people could become more active, healthy, and productive.

He noted that Article 60 paragraph 2 of Law Number 18 of 2012 concerning Food states that the diversification of food consumption is aimed at increasing people's awareness and developing a diet that is diverse, nutritionally balanced, and safe, in accordance with local potential and wisdom.

He recommended six local foods as alternatives to rice, such as cassava, corn, bananas, taro, potatoes, and sago.

"Regional governments can offer innovations to regions, for example, starting from the innovations in food production machines at sago factories, so that later sago production is not limited for the district, but is broader than that," he said.

He informed that so far, several provincial governments of new autonomous regions (DOB) in Papua have allocated budgets for the implementation of food diversification in their respective regions.

"There is even a province from DOB in Papua that has allocated a fund of around Rp30 billion to support food diversification at the local level," he added.

He said that Home Affairs Deputy Minister John Wempi Wetimpo has asked his agency to promptly take action so that the efforts made by the DOB provinces in Papua can be directed better.

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Translator: Tri Meilani, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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