JDN's 2018 calendar was kicked off by discussing food security issues in Indonesia

Indonesian food prices are one of the highest among South East Asian countries. Some basic food items are more expensive in Indonesia than in countries with a higher GDP per capita such as Australia and Singapore. This presents a massive challenge for the nearly 100 million poor and vulnerable people in the country, and contributes to the greater issue of chronic malnutrition across the nation. 

Hizkia Respatiadi, Head of Research from the Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS) discussed how Indonesia's food trade policy is linked to this situation, and what policy alternative the government could use to lower food prices in Indonesia.

The focus area of Hizkia's research is policy issues in Food Trade and Agriculture. He leads the Affordable Food for the Poor project at CIPS that aims to lower basic food prices in Indonesia by reducing trade barriers between Indonesia and other countries. Previously, he worked as a civil servant at the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His international experience includes a posting to the Indonesian Embassy in Zimbabwe and short-term assignments to the United Kingdom and several countries in Asia and Africa.