Pontianak (Antaranews Kalbar) - West Kalmantan Government through the Agriculture and Horticulture Office invites farmers to develop alternative food crops and tubers areas.
Chief of the West Kalimantan Agriculture Department of Food crops and Horticulture, Dony Syaiful Bahri said currently rice consumption in Indonesia reaches 114,8 kilograms per capita per year. Moreover, he said Indonesia is the second largest country after China as wheat noodles consumer.
"Whereas China’s population reached one billion people, and it is difficult for wheat to grow in Indonesia," he said.
Besides that, the policy which still focused in rice makes the consumption patterns of society changes from local food into rice such as cassava in West Java, sweet potato in Papua and corn in NTT (East Nusa Tenggara) and Madura.
The condition of food consumption that depends on rice contains the risk of food independence in a household and the national level becomes easily fragile.
The purpose of developing alternative food crops and tubers area is to embody alternative food besides rice in improving national food security.
He added, Indonesia generally has very large local food potential besides rice such as cassava, sweet potato, etc.
"Cassava and sweet potato can become one of alternative for accompanying rice for national food security," said Dony as a representative of Heronimus hiro the Chief of Agriculture of Food and Horticulture Office in West Kalimantan.
He added both of the plants are accordance with the agro-climates in most of Indonesia areas including West Kalimantan.
The productivity of cassava in West Kalimantan is high i.e. 20-25 tons per hectare and 8-10 per hectare for sweet potato.
Cassava is useful as an energy source which contains fiber and non-cholesterol, high protein, gluten free and as vitamin K and B sources.
In the other side, the sweet potato contains nutrients which have a positive effect on health such as prebiotics, fiber, and antioxidants. The carbohydrates contained in sweet potato belong to low glycemic index classification.