President asks agriculture minister to diversify food

Jakarta (Antara News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has urged Agriculture Minister Anton Apriyantono and governors to diversify food.

"The diversification is aimed at reducing Indonesia`s dependence on rice as a source of carbohydrate," the president said when awarding letters of appreciation for national food security to 156 people at the state palace here on Thursday.

Noodle has successfully replaced rice as a source of carbohydrate, he said, hoping that the food made of local maize, cassava, sago palm and others could be further developed in the future.

"Please make the new foodstuffs in a contest and provide the winners with a token of appreciation, medal, and prize prize providing the people like them very much," he said.

The president on the occasion also quoted data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) that the agriculture sector in 2007 had grown by 4 percent.

Even not giving the details, the head of state said that in Indonesia`s history, it was only on four occasions that agricultural growth has reached more than 3 percent.

In the meantime, Agriculture Minister Anto said that staple food in Indonesia is mainly rice, which prompted the government to constantly try to diversify food.(*)
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