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Cablegate: Indonesia Plans to Raise Food Security at Unga

VZCZCXRO1572
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #1565 2280859
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 150859Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9818
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2373
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5305
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2911
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 4820
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0942

UNCLAS JAKARTA 001565

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS AND EB/IFD/OMA
COMMERCE FOR 4430/KELLY
DEPARTMENT PASS EXIM BANK
USDA/FAS/OA YOST, MILLER, JACKSON
USDA/FAS/OCRA PETLOCK, HIGGISTON, RADLER
USTR WEISEL, EHLERS

E.O. 12598: N/A
TAGS: EFIN EINV ECON EAGR ID
SUBJECT: INDONESIA PLANS TO RAISE FOOD SECURITY AT UNGA

1. (SBU) Summary. A Senior Official at the Ministry for Foreign
Affairs (DEPLU) confirmed that Indonesia plans to raise food
security during the high-level meetings at the UN General Assembly
in September. The Government of Indonesia (GOI) is primarily
focused on generating increased investment in agriculture from the
international community. The Coordinating Ministry for Economic
Affairs is currently developing a strategy to improve agriculture
production and ensure food security in Indonesia. DEPLU requested
US technical assistance to improve Indonesian farmers' access to
technology and to train young diplomats in negotiating international
agreements. End Summary.

GOI to Raise Food Security at Upcoming UNGA
---------------------------------------

2. (SBU) The GOI plans to raise food security issues at the high
level meetings of the UN General Assembly in September, according to
the Director of Trade, Industry, Investment and IPR at DEPLU. GOI
officials are still discussing the most effective way to purse the
issue at the September meetings. The primary objective of the GOI
is to secure the international community's commitment to increase
agriculture investment in developing nations. The official worried
that the recent drop in oil and commodity prices might remove some
urgency within the international community on the need to improve
agriculture production in poorer nations. He also noted that
Indonesia is concerned that some of the support promised to
developing countries at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's
High-Level Conference on Food Security in June would be provided as
soft loans rather than grants.

Coordinating Ministry Developing Food Security Plan
--------------------------------------------- --

3. (SBU) According to the DEPLU official, the Coordinating Ministry
for Economic Affairs has been tasked with developing a comprehensive
plan to improve agr"iculture production in Indonesia. The details of
the plan, which is expected to be announced before the end of the
year, remain vague. However, the official noted that the GOI is
considering policies to improve irrigation and to restrict the
conversion of rice paddies for non-agricultural purposes. He did
not expect significant progress on the use of biotechnology in
Indonesian farming.

DEPLU Requests Technical Assistance for Farmers, Diplomats
--------------------------------------------- --

4. (SBU) The DEPLU official requested US technical assistance to
improve access to technology for small-scale farmers and to train
young diplomats in negotiating international agreements. He noted
that majority of Indonesian farmers remain hostage to irregular
weather patterns, which cause significant damage to crops every
year. He urged the United States to consider technical assistance
programs aimed at improving irrigation systems and access to
technology for small-scale farmers. The official also inquired
about US assistance in training young diplomats in negotiating
techniques and in understanding legal issues related to
international agreements. In his view, this investment would help
improve the pace and quality of trade and other bi-lateral and
multi-lateral negotiations.

HUME

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