State support essential for famers who face life-and-death situation: Indonesian official

ABU DHABI: State support for agriculture is essential in Indonesia and other developing countries as farmers are facing life-and-death situation due to multiple challenges, according to Djatmiko Bris Witjaksono, the Director-General of International T…


ABU DHABI: State support for agriculture is essential in Indonesia and other developing countries as farmers are facing life-and-death situation due to multiple challenges, according to Djatmiko Bris Witjaksono, the Director-General of International Trade Negotiations at the Indonesian Ministry of Trade.

Witjaksono, who leads the Indonesian delegation to the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) in Abu Dhabi, said food security is a concern for most of the people in Indonesia and other developing countries.

Therefore, public stockholding [a practice that allows countries, especially those in the developing world, to stockpile food reserves to feed their people], is crucial, he told WAM in an interview at MC13.

‘This is really about daily life and livelihood of our people. It is a matter of life and death.’

The stability of food supply is a concern because unlike rich countries, developing countries such as Indonesia do not have the capacity to provide huge farming subsidies,
Witjaksono explained.

His words gain relevance as New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay who is also the Vice Chair of MC13, in a similar interview, criticised the nearly $900 million in subsidies provided to farmers in wealthier countries, asserting that these subsidies often lead to environmental harm and distort world markets.

The Indonesian official said there is already an asymmetry between supply and demand of food, which is further exacerbated by climate change. Food production varies due to several factors such as change in farming seasons caused by unpredictable weather and natural calamities. ‘Finally, this will impact the entire world, not our people alone.’

Therefore, the director-general said Indonesia wants the WTO to protect the interests of farmers and fishers in the developing world.

UAE’s contribution

The UAE has contributed very constructively to secure a positive outcome at MC13, he said.

‘The UAE has done an excellent job.’

Despite difficulties to find a middle ground and consensus
in the multilateral process, Witjaksono said, ‘Let us be positive, constructive and optimistic. Whatever is one’s priorities and limitations, let us see how we can contribute to a better world.’

He commended the robust economic relations between Indonesia and the UAE. Both countries signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) that entered into force in 2023.

The UAE is hosting the WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13) after successfully organising COP28, the UN Climate Conference in Dubai in December.

Around 164 nations and trading blocs are participating in MC13, the WTO’s top decision-making body, which meets usually every two years.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Total
0
Shares
Previous Article

St Kitts and Nevis unveils the Investment Gateway Summit

Next Article

Nyxoah to Participate in the Oppenheimer 34th Annual Healthcare MedTech & Services Conference

Related Posts

Türkiye’s unemployment rate down in 2022

The unemployment rate was at 10.4% in Türkiye last year, down from 12% in 2021, official figures showed on Thursday.The Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) said the number of unemployed people in the country – aged 15 years and over – dropped by ...