Category Archives: Economic development

2013 Food Security Regional Dialogue-Medan: Origins of issues, short and long-terms policy options

Food insecurity can be driven by various factors. The factors can be classified into three factors, namely economic, social and environmental aspects. Don Gunasekera of CSIRO and Professor Christopher Findlay of University of Adelaide explain the origins of food security issues and short-term and long-term policy options.

Erwidodo (ICASEPS), Anna Strutt (University of Waikato), Randy Stringer and Christopher Findlay (University of Adelaide)

Food insecurity can be driven by factors including structural factors and market failures, food price volatility, societal vulnerabilities, gender issues, etc. Structural factors and market failures include inequality in access to land and water, insecurity in smallholder land tenure, underinvestment in agriculture. The challenges are becoming evident when data suggest upward price trend over the past decade with volatility. Global food prices have been closely tracking fossil fuel prices. The price volatility mostly affects poor people. In terms of real prices, food prices compared to a decade ago are high.

Regarding societal vulnerabilities, urban food insecurity is more significant than rural poor insecurity. Here, food insecure people are defined bas per capita food consumption for a country or income decile falls short of the nutritional target of 2,100 Kcals/person/day. In Asia, the share of population belong to food insecure people have been decreasing.  But the story from Africa is quite different.

Regarding gender issues, 43 per cent of developing country agricultural labour force are women, 50 per cent in East Asia and Africa and 20 per cent in Latin America. Under performance of developing country agriculture is partly because women have less access to inputs (eg fertiliser), land, water, equipment, extension and credit. If women had better access to productive resources, yield on their farms would increase by 20-30 per cent.

Failures in institutional governance may explain food insecurity. Governments are often unable to respond rapidly and predictably to changing markets and other social and environmental challenges.

Don Gunasekera (CSIRO) at Medan dialogue

Short-term policy options include promotion of market information (ie AMIS), market-based risk management schemes (future contract, option contracts on food imports, transparent emergency food assistance); raising food supply from smallholder farmers, reforms to distortionary trade policies and management of macroeconomic implications. Trade policy reform is important given that domestic market insulating policies raised 40 per cent of the world price of rice in 2007-2008. Social safety nets should be distributed directly to the poor.

Long-term policy measures include reducing losses across supply chains, well-functioning global food markets, raising agricultural R&D, better-managed ecosystems, and well-functioning social protection systems. One third of food produced is lost or wasted globally each year. Hence, the need to increase production and productivity would be reduced by reducing food losses and waste. This is important not only for developing but also developed countries. Reasons include limited access to finance and technical assistance and other resources. In addition, global agricultural trade minimises the adverse impacts of external shocks. Nevertheless, long-term productivity growth is unlikely to be achieved without investments in R&D. Whilst food security concepts may vary between countries, interaction of policy matters.

*The session was summarised by Risti Permani (University of Adelaide) and subject to her personal views.

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Filed under Agriculture, Conference, Economic development, Economic Integration, Food and agriculture, Trade

Challenges and Opportunities for Indonesia and Australia Relationship in the Asian Century

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On 17 May 2013, Counsellor in Politics and  Senior First Secretary of Economic Affairs of The Republic of Indonesia Embassy in Australia, Mr Widya Rahmanto and Mr Denny Lesmana shared some valuable  insights into  “Challenges and Opportunities for Indonesia and Australia (IA) Relationship in The Asian Century”. This discussion forum was organised by the Indonesian Embassy, South Australian Chapter of The Indonesian Student Association (PPIA), and fully supported by  PPIA at Flinders University, University of Adelaide and University of South Australia and  GoLive Indonesia.

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Filed under Agriculture, Australia, Culture, Democracy, East Asia, Economic development, Economic Integration, Education, Employment, Food and agriculture, Indonesia, Infrastructure, Investment, PPIA academic discussion, Services, Trade

Australia in the Asian century: Identifying opportunities for Indonesia-Australia relations

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On 8 May 2013, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade organised public consultations  “Australia in the Asian century” in Adelaide. Indonesia becomes one of the focused countries along with Korea, Japan, India and China. Risti Permani, GoLive Indonesia team member, attended the event.

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The Legacy of the Past for Current Agriculture

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Agus Pakpahan,PhD Chairman of the Union of Estate Crops Farmers Associations

Indonesian agricultural sectors have a long history. This article briefly reviews agricultural development from the colonization era to the post-independence period.  Whilst the colonial agricultural development approach to use forced-agenda through VOC monopoly power and Tanam Paksa (enforcement planting) was no longer relevant to current agriculture, the colonial era has passed on the legacy of a ‘grand design’ that has not changed much, that is to focus export-oriented agricultural commodities such as rubber in Sumatera and main food commodities such as rice in Java and to provide necessary infrastructure to achieve agricultural development goals including research institutes and irrigation networks.

 

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Primary Industry Knowledge Management: An Aid and Agribusiness Agenda

Dr. Derek Baker, Agricultural Economist and Team Leader of Changing Demand and Institutions, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

Fruit Market, Banjarmasin

On Tuesday 22 January 2013, Dr Derek Baker of ILRI presented his work on “Primary Industry Knowledge Management: An Aid and Agribusiness Agenda”. His presentation highlighted increasing agribusiness opportunities across the globe due to changing demographics which impact consumers’ purchasing power and preference. These increase opportunities, however, challenge agricultural sectors especially in developing countries to improve their competitiveness requiring effective knowledge transfer not only between actors within the economy (between policy makers, scientists, traders and farmers) but also between countries including between developing countries.
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Indonesia-Australia: Challenges and Opportunities (Part II)

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Christopher Findlay and David Parsons

This article is summarised from a speech presented by Professor Christopher Findlay, Executive Dean of Faculty of Professions the University of Adelaide at  AIBC SA Business Luncheon -Celebrating the anniversary of Indonesian Independence at Intercontinental Hotel Adelaide on 23 August 2012 derived from his paper co-authored with David Parsons.

This article extends discussions presented in Part I. Whilst Part I focuses on  Indonesia’s position as the world’s third largest democracy that is becoming bigger and richer, Part II explores how Australia and Indonesia, who face some similar concerns as well as some interconnected challenges, should further explore that there is much to be gained by understanding those better and then working out a better long term strategy.

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Filed under Australia, Conference, Democracy, East Asia, Economic development, Economic Integration, Food and agriculture, Income inequality, Indonesia, Infrastructure, Investment

Indonesia-Australia: Challenges and Opportunities (Part I)

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Christopher Findlay and David Parsons

This article is summarised from a speech presented by Professor Christopher Findlay, Executive Dean of Faculty of Professions the University of Adelaide at  AIBC SA Business Luncheon -Celebrating the anniversary of Indonesian Independence at Intercontinental Hotel Adelaide on 23 August 2012 derived from his paper co-authored with David Parsons.

This article focuses on two points. First, Indonesia, the world’s third largest democracy, is becoming bigger and richer, which is an important for Australia.  Second, but Australia and Indonesia face some similar concerns as well as some interconnected challenges and there is much to be gained by understanding those better and then working out a better long term strategy.

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Filed under Australia, Conference, Democracy, East Asia, Economic development, Economic Integration, Education, Food and agriculture, Income inequality, Indonesia, Infrastructure, Investment, Trade