A joint press statement by Indonesia’s Planning Agency and four other UN agencies in the country – the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), has revealed that Indonesia has made tremendous progress in eradicating hunger and reducing the number of children suffering from malnutrition.
Recent statistics have shown that Indonesia has experienced progress in the fourth year of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, the numbers for stunting and malnutrition still remains high in the country, with one in three children reported to have stunted growth. Deputy Minister for Maritime Affairs and Natural Resources of National Planning Agency/ National Coordinator of SDG implementation, Arifin Rudiyanto, said that sustainable and productive agriculture would be Indonesia’s real challenges in the near future. “In Indonesia, the food production system mainly relies on smallholders, and increasing the productivity of farmers is one of our critical policies,” he added.
The food consumption per capita in Indonesia has increased by five per cent over the last year. Calorie consumption among people living in poverty also increased by around eight per cent. Under these circumstances, the stunting rate of children under five years old in Indonesia fell by seven per cent, down to 30.8 percent between 2013 and 2018. The rate of wasting in children under five years of age also went down by two percent, to 10 percent, during the same period.
With an income growth rate of five per cent a year, Indonesia is in a state of economic transition. The demand for food is also growing at over four per cent a year. Due to rapid economic growth, urbanisation and changes in lifestyles, differences are inevitable. These factors have impacted food security, nutrition, and healthy diets. The UN agencies have revealed that, like any other countries in the region, Indonesia is still struggling to establish a sustainable and productive food system and nutrition scheme.
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