35 min

Jamie Davidson - Food Security Talking Indonesia

    • News

Indonesians have a saying that you’re not properly satisfied until you’ve eaten rice (belum kenyang kalau belum makan nasi). But in recent weeks the price of rice has hit record highs, meaning that this daily serving of rice is becoming out of reach for some.

In 2023 an EL Niño weather pattern across Indonesia made it the hottest year on record, leading to drought conditions and impacting rice production, with delayed harvests and low yields. Since late last year rice prices have continued to climb and with Idul Fitri approaching, prices for basic foods - including rice - are spiking to historic levels. Media reports show people queuing for hours at markets and President Joko Widodo has committed to providing 10 kilograms of rice a month to low-to-middle income households. The government claims that national rice stores are sufficient, but close observers note that cartels and collusion within the industry are also playing a part. At the same time - and an issue highlighted in the recent election campaign - over one in five Indonesian children under the age of five are affected by stunting due to poor nutrition.

What is the current state of food production and food security in Indonesia, especially when it comes to rice, and what part does the past play in policymaking about the present? Why is the rate of stunting in children and poor nutrition still at such high levels? How can Indonesia’s food policy respond?

In this week's episode Jemma chats with Associate Professor Jamie Davidson from the Department of Political Science and the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore, where he is leader of the Cluster ‘Food Politics and Society’. Jamie’s research compares the politics of rice policy in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia.

In 2024, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Jemma Purdey from the Australia-Indonesia Centre, Dr Jacqui Baker from Murdoch University, Dr Elisabeth Kramer from the University of New South Wales and Tito Ambyo from RMIT.

Image: Workers are seen at a Bulog rice warehouse in Medan, North Sumatra, on 28 February 2024. (ANTARA FOTO/Fransisco Carolio/foc)

Indonesians have a saying that you’re not properly satisfied until you’ve eaten rice (belum kenyang kalau belum makan nasi). But in recent weeks the price of rice has hit record highs, meaning that this daily serving of rice is becoming out of reach for some.

In 2023 an EL Niño weather pattern across Indonesia made it the hottest year on record, leading to drought conditions and impacting rice production, with delayed harvests and low yields. Since late last year rice prices have continued to climb and with Idul Fitri approaching, prices for basic foods - including rice - are spiking to historic levels. Media reports show people queuing for hours at markets and President Joko Widodo has committed to providing 10 kilograms of rice a month to low-to-middle income households. The government claims that national rice stores are sufficient, but close observers note that cartels and collusion within the industry are also playing a part. At the same time - and an issue highlighted in the recent election campaign - over one in five Indonesian children under the age of five are affected by stunting due to poor nutrition.

What is the current state of food production and food security in Indonesia, especially when it comes to rice, and what part does the past play in policymaking about the present? Why is the rate of stunting in children and poor nutrition still at such high levels? How can Indonesia’s food policy respond?

In this week's episode Jemma chats with Associate Professor Jamie Davidson from the Department of Political Science and the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore, where he is leader of the Cluster ‘Food Politics and Society’. Jamie’s research compares the politics of rice policy in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia.

In 2024, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Jemma Purdey from the Australia-Indonesia Centre, Dr Jacqui Baker from Murdoch University, Dr Elisabeth Kramer from the University of New South Wales and Tito Ambyo from RMIT.

Image: Workers are seen at a Bulog rice warehouse in Medan, North Sumatra, on 28 February 2024. (ANTARA FOTO/Fransisco Carolio/foc)

35 min

Top Podcasts In News

The Rest Is Politics
Goalhanger Podcasts
The Daily
The New York Times
If You're Listening
ABC listen
Full Story
The Guardian
Pod Save America
Crooked Media
The Rest Is Politics: US
Goalhanger