The Indonesian government’s recent endorsement of food sovereignty as its formal policy framework signals a turn in food policy discourse in Southeast Asia. Is this helpful or a disruptive development?



FOOD SOVEREIGNTY, as opposed to food security, has recently been adopted as a formal policy framework by the new Indonesian President, Joko Widodo (Jokowi). In his Facebook page, Jokowi recently posted: “Food security is different from food sovereignty. تكساس هولدم Food security is simply the availability of foodstuffs (logistically) in warehouses and in the markets regardless of the origin whether from import or from locally produced. Food sovereignty means we produce and market our foodstuffs ourselves, while the surplus of agricultural crops is exported. لعبة الدمبلة


Extrapolating on the external dimension, Jokowi said: “If we are sovereign in our food production, any disturbances abroad will not have a significant impact on our food reserve and we can still have adequate supply to feed our people.” Stressing the government’s firm commitment to food sovereignty, he added: “Our food sovereignty vision at the highest level is for our food production to overflow the local and international markets or at the very least, we have to be the largest food producer in ASEAN. تعليم القمار


Food Sovereignty Ideas

The concept of food sovereignty was first introduced on the sideline of the 1996 Food Summit by an international farmers’ movement, the La Via Campesina, as an alternative to the mainstream definition of food security which was officially adopted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). In the last two decades, there has been a general acceptance among policymakers around the globe that “food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”. However, this definition was not seen as adequate by some groups; it was seen as not giving enough attention to the questions of where, how, by and for whom food was produced.


The food sovereignty concept has been gaining popularity as a number of governments have officially adopted its framework and principles on a national level.


Via Campesina’s Forum for Food Sovereignty held in 2007 defined the guiding principles as follows: Local people have rights to define their own food, agriculture systems and biodiversity. Farmers should have access to land, water, seeds and livestock breeds and credit with a focus on marginal farmers include land reforms. Decision-making on production, distribution and consumption should be placed in the hands of the locals and not in the hands of markets and corporations. Priority must be given to local and national economies and markets and should empower peasant and family farmer-driven agriculture and artisanal fishers. Transparency in food trade must be guaranteed such that there is just income to all peoples and the rights of consumers to control their food and nutrition are protected. It implies new social relations free of oppression and inequality between men and women, peoples, racial groups, social classes and generation (inter-generational equity).