Food Security or Food Sovereignty? Questioning the Paradigm of Indonesian Military Involvement in Agriculture
Indonesian military (TNI) involvement in the agricultural sector had begun since the 1960s when they had a significant role in a global modernization of agriculture project led by the US government and world donor agencies, namely the Green Revolution. In 2015, TNI signed a MoU with the Ministry of Agriculture in a “Special Efforts Program for Accelerating Food Production” which again delivers an important role to the military in the agricultural sector by implementing a Green Revolution oriented farming. This paper, in contrasts to some of the previous writings, does not examine the right or wrong of this involvement. This study provides a paradigmatic response to a question, why TNI insists on implementing a program that after 50 years has not proven successful in reaching the target of food self-sufficiency? Based on literature studies and analysis of empirical data, this study suggests that there is a paradigmatic misperception among the policy makers, both civil and military, about food security concept. The authors also offer a new implementation framework based on the concept of food sovereignty that can be performed by policy makers in Indonesia and other developing countries.
The authors are affiliated to the International Relations Department, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung, Indonesia.