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Cablegate: Proposed Food Security and Biotech Conference in Jakarta

VZCZCXRO9141
RR RUEHJS
DE RUEHJA #0062/01 0150942
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 150942Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4293
INFO RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE USD FAS WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHJS/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 2621

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 000062

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EEB/TPP/MTAA/ABT SZYMANSKI AND BOBO
STATE ALSO FOR EAP/MTS AND EEB/CBA
USDA/FAS/OA MICHENER, BREWER
USDA/FAS/OCRA HALE, HIGGISTON, RADLER
USDA/FAS/OGA HOUSE, DWYER, ROCKE
USDA/FAS/OSTA BLUM, MACKE, BERMAN, WETZEL
USDA/FAS/OCBD SHEIKH, KREAMER, GROVES
COMMERCE FOR 4430/NADJMI
STATE PASS TO USTR WEISEL, EHLERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EAGR ETRD ID
SUBJECT: PROPOSED FOOD SECURITY AND BIOTECH CONFERENCE IN JAKARTA

REF: (A) 09 STATE 122732; (B) 09 JAKARTA 1997; (C) 09 JAKARTA 2031
(D) SZYMANSKI-SAEGER EMAIL 06 JANUARY 2010

1. This is an action request. Please see paragraphs 2 and 11.

2. Embassy Jakarta proposes a food security conference in Jakarta in
late March 2010 that would focus on the productivity and regulatory
aspects of biotech crops. Post requests EEB ag-biotech funds
offered in Ref (A) for this event. Food security is a key goal of
the U.S.-Indonesian bilateral Comprehensive Partnership. A new
Indonesian focus on food productivity has opened the door for
regulatory change in favor of market access for biotech products and
foreign agribusiness. Although U.S. and Indonesian definitions of
food security differ - Indonesia stresses increased domestic food
production - Indonesia's food security goals can be better achieved
through the use of biotech crops. The conference would also offer
increased opportunities for U.S. firms to promote their products to
the Indonesian private sector and government officials.

Structure of the Conference
---------------------------

3. The food security conference would run for 1 1/2 days and
incorporate three themes: 1) investment in food production,
including biotech crops and foreign agribusiness participation in
domestic food production; 2) improvement and investment in
post-harvest food distribution infrastructure; and 3) capacity
building for agricultural and food production sciences. We note
that the proposed time for the conference might coincide with a
visit by EEB A/S Jose Fernandez to Indonesia. If so, we could
ensure that A/S Fernandez would have a prominent role.

Focus on Biotech Issues
-----------------------

4. Because of the renewed focus on food security, Indonesian
officials are giving greater attention to technology and investment
issues which have the potential to increase agricultural
productivity. Officials are now considering biotech crops as a part
of this process, and U.S. agribusinesses and crops technology could
help advance these objectives.

5. The conference would also encourage investment by U.S.
agribusinesses. Among the problems that the private sector could
address are insufficient infrastructure to distribute fresh foods,
including ports, roads, and cold storage chains; regulatory
constraints; and investment restrictions.

Advancing Policy Objectives
---------------------------

6. This conference will contribute to the development of
implementing regulations for the 2005 Biotech law. Indonesia has a
Presidential Decree issued in 1999 covering biotech issues, but a
subsequent law passed in 2005 still has no implementing regulations.
The lack of clarity on biosafety and food safety authorization for
biotech crops and food has so far prevented the approval of any
biotech production in Indonesia. A food security conference could
focus key issues and highlight biotech benefits for regulatory
officials as they develop their biotech regulations.

7. Policymakers, academics, and domestic industry will receive a
greater understanding of the benefits of using biotech crops for
productivity and output. Indonesian food productivity has not seen
significant gains in decades. Biotech crops offer the capacity for
Indonesian domestic food production to once again increase its
productivity.

8. The conference will also contribute to a greater awareness of the
benefits of U.S. agribusiness participation in the country.
Indonesia has traditionally shunned foreign agricultural investment
and preferred local agribusiness. New officials, including the
Deputy Agriculture Minister, have called for greater foreign
investment in food production in Indonesia to increase production.

Target Audience
---------------

9. There is a wide range of potential officials that the conference
will target, including:


JAKARTA 00000062 002 OF 002


-- Agricultural officials dealing with the approval of new crops,
especially biotech crops;
-- Agricultural officials concerned with food production in the
country, and local production in the areas that have the greatest
amount of food insecurity;
-- Officials involved in Indonesia's food security policies;
-- Indonesian agribusinesses, who are the best potential allies for
adopting biotech seeds for increased production and greater
efficiency;
-- Indonesian officials dealing with transportation and trade
infrastructure
-- Indonesian food processing industries
-- Indonesian legislators
-- Indonesian agricultural academics


Follow-Up Activities
--------------------

10. FAS-Jakarta will collaborate with local stakeholders as well as
FAS-Washington in developing follow up activities to possibly
include farmer-to-farmer programs and short-term training on plant
breeding/biotechnology for university faculty and/or government
decision-makers. A possible source of funding for this would be
the USDA Emerging Market Program.

Costs of the Program
--------------------

11. Estimated cost for the conference is $29,475, which includes the
following. Post requests EEB funds offered in Ref (A) for this
event.

Facilities/Equipment, 1 1/2 days: $ 7,280
U.S. speakers (3): $14,652
Regional speakers (2): $ 3,198
Translation: $ 500
Miscellaneous: $ 3,845

U.S. speakers: $4,884 (each)
-- Airfare: $3,705
-- Per Diem: $ 699
-- Honorarium: $ 480/day

Regional speakers: $1,599 (each)
-- Philippines
-- China/India
-- Airfare: $700
-- Per Diem: $699
-- Honorarium: $200/day

Contact Information
-------------------

12. Responsible officers for this conference are as follows:

Ted Saeger
Economic Section
U.S. Embassy Jakarta
Tel: +62-21-3435-9066
saegeres@state.gov

Jonn Slette
Foreign Agricultural Service
U.S. Embassy Jakarta
Tel: +62-21-3435-9163
Jonn.Slette@fas.usda.gov

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