NFA urges food businesses to make products more nutritious

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and large-scale food business players should innovate their products to improve public food consumption and resolve the problem of stunting, the National Food Agency (NFA) has said.

“For example, we encourage MSMEs in Maluku, who produce sago noodles, to enrich them with fish, vegetables, and peanut flours to produce innovative processed food products,” NFA’s Deputy for Diversification of Food Consumption and Food Safety Andriko Noto Susanto said at a CIPS webinar here on Wednesday.

According to him, innovating processed food products could contribute to the achievement of the Desirable Dietary Pattern (DDP) and help achieve the target of reducing the stunting rate to 14 percent nationwide.

DDP is an instrument for assessing the situation of regional food consumption to plan for future food consumption needs by considering the social, economic, cultural aspects and people’s preferences.

In 2022, DDP reached 96.80, up from 95.70 the previous year.

People with very low incomes have the strongest tendency to leave their DDP unachieved, Susanto said. Therefore, the government has carried out several interventions such as distributing food assistance to low-income people.

The 2021 National Socioeconomic Survey shows that the average cost of balanced nutritious food in Indonesia is IDR 22.126 per day or IDR 663.791 per month per person.

Based on the average cost of a healthy meal in 90 cities in Indonesia, around 68 percent or 183.7 million Indonesians cannot afford them.

According to Susanto, regulations are needed to accelerate the diversification of food consumption using local resources.

“We are drafting a presidential regulation for the diversification of food consumption. (The regulation) will bind the central government, local governments, and food business actors to jointly mobilize resources for diversifying food consumption based on local creativities,” he explained.

He said he expected business actors to work together on creating food innovations to meet people’s nutritional needs.

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