Comprehensive policy needed to boost food production

Senin, 13 Agustus 2012 | 09:06

Leading economist Hendri Saparini said comprehensive policy including fiscal policy is needed to boost the country`s food production to save the country from frequent shortage in supply of food products.Exemption of import duty, export tax or tax facility for the agricultural sector and small and medium investors and tariff fixation are forms of fiscal policy that could be adopted by the government to create food sovereignty, Saparini, the director of the Econit Advisory Group, said.

"We want the 240 million Indonesians become a huge market for domestic products," she said here on Saturday.

Another form of policy is to allocate a certain budget in the state budget for the state run board of Logistics (Bulog), she added.

"Bulog needs to be strengthened in its role to control supplies of strategic food products," she said.

The government policies must not be partial between Bulog, the agriculture ministry, the trade ministry and related agencies , she said, adding they must make a single well coordinated policy.

"Above all that , there must be big strategy. Short, medium and long term strategies are formed on the big strategy," she said.

Fiscal policy on the agricultural sector such as scrapping of import duty on soybean is short term remedy to deal with crisis such as the recent crisis in soybean supply, she said.