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Factors Constraining Local Food Crop Production in Indonesia: Experiences from Kulon Progo Regency, Yogyakarta Special Province

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Author(s): RADEN RIJANTA | DODI WIDIYANTO | TOEKIDJO TOEKIDJO | SRI SULISTYANI

Journal: Romanian Review of Regional Studies
ISSN 1841-1576

Volume: IX;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 99;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: Local food crops | Constraining factors | Technical factors | Policy-related factors | Kulon Progo Regency | Indonesia

ABSTRACT
Local food crops are believed to be important alternatives in facing the problems of continuously growing price of food stuff worldwide. There has been a strong bias in national agricultural development policy towards the production of rice as staple food in Indonesia. Local food crops have been neglected in the agricultural development policy in the last 50 years, leading to the dependency on imported commodities and creating a vulnerability in the national food security. This paper aims at assessing the factors constraining local food production in Indonesia based on empirical experiences drawn from a research in Kulon Progo Regency, Yogyakarta Province. The government of Kulon Progo Regency has declared its commitment in the development of local food commodities as a part of its agricultural development policy, as it is mentioned in the long-term and medium-term development planning documents. There is also a head regency decree mandating the use of local food commodities in any official events organized by the government organisations. The research shows that there are at least six policy-related problems and nine technical factors constraining local food crops production in the regency. Some of the policy-related and structural factors hampering the production of local food crops consist of (1) long-term policy biases towards rice, (2) strong biases on rice diet in the community, (3) difficulties in linking policy to practices, (4) lack of information on availability of local food crops across the regency and (5) external threat from the readily available instant food on local market and (6) past contra-productive policy to the production of local food crops. The technical factors constraining local food production comprises (1) inferiority of the food stuff versus the instantly prepared food, (2) difficulty in preparation and risk of contagion of some crops, lack of technology for processing, (3) continuity of supply (some crops are seasonally available), (4) low production and productivity level and (5) lack of knowledge on production and processing, (6) lack of skills and knowledge among the young people to grow the crops, (7) higher price as a result of commodity scarcity in the market, (8) attitudes towards local food commodities as secondary products, and (9) bias of information in marketing whereas local market is very small.
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