This brief reviews the interlinkages between food, nutrition and the environment in Indonesia, and the role of national food policies in addressing the challenges in these sectors.
While Indonesia is a mega-biodiverse country, nationally supported agricultural production programs tend to focus on a few high-value commodities, contributing to low dietary diversity.
Lessons from past food estate programs suggest that food system interventions that focus heavily on increasing monocropping, especially rice production, overlook the capacity of local people to develop their own food systems, while failing to provide healthy diets, and damaging the environment.
To move towards sustainable food systems, we argue that policies need to: focus on delivering healthy and diverse diets; support local food production practices that are environmentally sustainable; embrace local cultures and values; re-evaluate centralized and top-down policies; and avoid overly focusing on production of rice.
Policies that decentralize and localize food production can enhance resilience and the sustainability of food systems/