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Food Security vs. Food Self-Sufficiency: The Indonesian Case

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  • Peter Warr

Abstract

Food security is an important social objective and relying on international food markets to meet the needs of Indonesia's growing population is precarious. The policy of restricting food imports through tariffs or quantitative restrictions promotes the goal of food self-sufficiency, but does so at the cost of reducing the food security of the most vulnerable people – the poorest net consumers of rice. These policies reduce imports through the mechanism of raising the domestic price. The poorest consumers bear the greatest burden from this policy because they are the people for whom expenditures on food form the largest proportion of their household budgets. A preferable strategy for raising self-sufficiency is to promote improved agricultural productivity. This reduces imports by raising agricultural output but does so without raising the domestic price of food and so without creating a conflict between the goals of higher levels of self-sufficiency on the one hand and food security and poverty reduction on the other. Unfortunately, Indonesia's commitment to raising agricultural productivity has seemingly waned. Finally, Indonesia has already demonstrated that practical mechanisms can be designed for shielding poor consumers from price increases that would otherwise be harmful, by designing systems of Conditional Cash Transfers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 2011-04.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pas:papers:2011-04

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Related research

Keywords: Food security; poverty incidence; rice policy;

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Cited by:
  1. Peter Warr & Arief Anshory Yusuf, 2013. "Fertilizer Subsidies and Food Self-Sufficiency in Indonesia," Departmental Working Papers 2013-08, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
  2. Anderson, Kym & Strutt, Anna, 2012. "Asia’s Growth, the Changing Geography of World Trade, and Food Security: Projections to 2030," CEPR Discussion Papers 8950, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Peter Warr & Arief Anshory Yusuf, 2013. "World Food Prices and Poverty in Indonesia," Departmental Working Papers 2013-07, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.

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