Responsible Business Forum on Food & Agriculture 2016

BSD News, 23 May 2016

For the third time, the Indonesia Business Council for Sustainable Development IBCSD together with the Global Initiatives and KADIN Indonesia successfully organized the Responsible Business Forum on Food and Agriculture.  This event was held on 25-26th April 2016 at Grand Hyatt  Jakarta  and attended by more than 400 participants from Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Laos, Cambodia and Australia and other countries. The forum was opened by Amran Sulaiman (Minister of Agriculture), Saleh Husin (Minister of Industry), Franky Oesman Widjaja (CEO of Golden Agri Ressource) and Shinta Widja Kamdani (CEO of Sintesa Group).

Amran Sulaiman stated that his Ministry attempts to change policy regulation, especially in technology improvement and shortening supply chain of agriculture in Indonesia. He also encourages investments in some commodities such as sugar, beef, maize, etc. to suffice Indonesia’s demands.

The audience was also graced with the presence of Saleh Husin. In his opening remarks, he spoke that the  food and beverage is a strategic industry that has good prospects in the future.” Food and beverage industry cover 31% of the total industry in Indonesia” added Husin.

Afterwards, Franky Oesman Widjaja stressed the issue of climate change, food sustainable and food security in the forum as  Indonesia is blessed with the vast natural resources. He also mentioned that the world population will be 9.6 billion in 2050. Therefore, this forum is expected to initiate a practical solution to realize the sustainability in agriculture.

In line with others, Shinta Widjaja Kamdani explained the importance of sustainability in agriculture. “Since the earth has limited capacity to provide food, it is therefore imperative to produce and consume food sustainably” stressed Kamdani. In her opinion, although the agriculture has declined in the past years, but it remains important to Indonesia as this sector absorbs Indonesia’s workforce significantly. She also emphasized the five goals of this forum: best practices in agriculture, farmers’ prosperity, the importance of policy, the researches that match the business and partnership for sustainable business.

The forum consisted of comprehensive panel discussions on topics related to food and agriculture, such as: food, farm, forest, community, policy, technology and women in agriculture.   Moreover, innovative and collaborative approaches to improve agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability across key commodity value chains such as  , coffee, corn, dairy, palm oil and sugar were also explores in this forum.  Global and Regional government, industry leaders, NGOs and other agriculture stakeholders gathered in this forum and shared perspectives on food and nutrition. They also made some recommendations to increase agricultural productivity, whilst improving rural livelihoods and reducing environmental impacts.

Besides of the panel discussions, participants were divided into six groups to discuss and prepare recommendations on sustainable land use, equitable opportunity for small-holder farmers, increasing productivity and improving rural livelihood.  The discussions offered valuable insights for the delegates about the current challenging situation that farmers face and the collaboration opportunities to increase sustainable production of rice, coffee, corn, dairy, palm oil and sugar.

The forum was closed by reporting the result from the working group session as well as the Q & A session from the audience. Moreover, stakeholders from business, investors and the international development community in the field of food and agriculture contributed recommendations to the event.(SS & AI)