Indonesia Has Succeeded in Overcoming Only One of Four Nutritional Problems

Indonesia - Ignorance in the development of nutrition will result in high mortality of infants or toddlers that causes lost new generations in the decades to come. The birth of idiotic generation due to malnutrition leads this nation to remain in poverty.

Prof. Ali Khomsan as a professor of the Faculty of Human Ecology (FEMA), Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), in his scientific speech said, of the four major nutritional problems, only one can be solved by Indonesia, namely, the lack of vitamin A. The three other nutritional problems (protein energy malnutrition, a disorder caused by lack of iodine and iron deficiency which still has a high prevalence rate).

The speech is entitled "Poverty, Lack of Food and Nutrition: the Problem of the Nation Who are Developing". In the speech, Prof. Ali stressed that a country which neglect of its people’s nutrition will bear a heavy burden in the form of children's brain infertility, which eventually leads to the birth of foolish or less intelligent generation.

"Government's poverty alleviation program has not significantly reduces the number of poor people. Scarcity of jobs and layoffs will lock the community in material poverty. Employment will be one of the exit strategies in overcoming poverty," Mr. Ali said.

Poverty criteria specified the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) is still far from that established by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This means that the number of poor people in Indonesia exceeds the numbers so far given (28.51 million people). However, FAO estimates there are 19.4 million people suffering from hunger in Indonesia.

Low status of nutrition, protein-energy malnutrition, the many groups who suffer from iron deficiency (infants, pregnant women or nursing mothers), disorders due to lack of iodine and other malnutrition are experienced by all provinces in Indonesia.  The highest prevalence is in the eastern provinces of Indonesia.

"One characteristic of the poor food consumption is that people rely more on the consumption of food sources of carbohydrate. The economic problem is the main cause. This causes the phenomenon of hidden hunger," he explained during a scientific oration at the Auditorium of Andi Hakim Nasoetion, Darmaga campus of IPB (23/4).

It is said, when compared with neighboring countries, Malaysia are much bigger than Indonesia in the consumption of meat and milk. Our meat consumption in 2011 was only 2.12 kg / capita / year while Malaysia has reached 15 kg / capita / year. Our milk consumption in 2013 only 13.5 liters / capita / year while Malaysia 53.6 liters / capita / year and India 48.6 liters / capita / year.

"Not only are our meat and milk consumption but also eggs and fish consumption far left behind. With the slow trend of increased consumption of milk, meat, eggs and fish, it is estimated to take longer time to catch up," he said.