Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Indonesia needs a new policy or regulation to secure agricultural lands to prevent them from being used for non-agricultural purposes.

"A new policy or regulation is really needed to secure agricultural lands. I have just signed a government regulation for that purpose," the president said at his office here on Thursday.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting, the President said the new policy was needed so that no more agricultural lands could be converted into non-agricultural lands arbitrarily.

He said land was the main capital in the government`s program to increase food production and productivity, adding the availability of agricultural land was an important factor in the government`s ability to keep domestic food prices stable.

Apart from putting in place a new policy for securing land for food production, the government would also resort to other measures such as market intervention, enacting special fiscal policies, beefing up stockpiles, increasing productivity and avoiding food hoarding.

He also said that the government would maintain a good cooperation with the main actors in the business world, especially those dealing with food-related businesses.

"Although the government won`t always be able to control price increase as market mechanism would do that, in facing crises the role of the government is indeed significant," he said.

In that occasion, the president said about the government`s success in overcoming the global food crisis threats back in 2007 and 2008.(*)

Editor: Jafar M Sidik
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