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Yayasan Kegizian Pengembangan Fortifikasi Pangan Indonesia (KFI)

Contribute to the formation of a healthy, intelligent and productive Indonesian society through improving nutrition with food fortification

Nina Sardjunani KFI Director
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Jakarta, January 10 2024

I represent the entire board of the Indonesian Fortification Coalition (KFI) wishing you a Happy New Year 2024. In this new year moment, I invite all of us to re-strengthen our enthusiasm to strengthen and accelerate mandatory fortification in Indonesia.

Based on Megatrend 2045, it is estimated that the world will be faced with 10 global challenges, namely changes in demographic trends, urbanization, international trade, global finance, middle income class, competition for natural resources, climate change, technological progress, geopolitical changes and geoeconomic changes, all of which will have an impact large impact on food production and access to food consumption both directly and indirectly. The impact of climate change such as floods, droughts or changes in seasonal patterns can hamper agricultural production and cause a decrease in food supplies which results in an increase in food prices and of course this will further worsen the ability of the bottom 40% of the population who tend to experience deficiencies in key micronutrients such as iron, folic acid, vitamin A, iodine, and so on due to limited purchasing power for various foods.

After facing almost 3 years of the COVID-19 pandemic, Indonesia is now faced with increasing food prices caused by a prolonged drought (El Nino), heating geopolitical temperatures, especially the Russia-Ukraine war and the protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 2022, strategic food price inflation (volatile food) will be 5.61%, and will increase to 6.31% in 2023. The National Food Agency (BAPANAS) stated that the price of rice will increase by 14.08%, sugar will increase by 20% and several other types of food will also increase in in 2023. Based on a WFP study (2021), the ability of Indonesian people to fulfill a healthy diet is very limited by purchasing power. Even though almost all Indonesian people are able to meet their energy source diet needs, the price of a healthy diet is around 4-5 times the price of a calorie source diet, meaning only 1 in 2 Indonesians cannot afford it.

Therefore, food fortification is the only hope to cover the gap in micronutrient intake due to people's unbalanced diets. It is not surprising that WHO at the 76th World Health Assembly adopted a resolution regarding the need to accelerate the prevention of micronutrient deficiencies through effective food fortification. The resolution urges member states to make decisions regarding food fortification with micronutrients and/or supplementation and consider ways to strengthen financing and monitoring mechanisms.

Large-scale food fortification (LSFF) is part of the solution. LSFF has been proven effective in reducing hidden hunger and is highly cost-effective. Food fortification was found to be the most cost-effective method at a cost of 66 USD per Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALY). The estimated health benefit-cost ratio is USD 17 for every USD 1 invested. The cost of food fortification to address deficiencies of iodine, vitamin A, and iron in many countries is generally less than 0.5% of the product price, with no additional costs for distribution to consumers.

Referring to the WHO initiative above and considering the development of conditions in the country which is currently experiencing heavy pressure in realizing balanced nutrition for every citizen, especially those who are classified as extreme poor, poor and near poor households, an appropriate strategy is needed to ensure adequate food intake. Their nutrients, especially micronutrients, meet nutritional adequacy recommendations. Moreover, Indonesia has declared 2045 as Indonesia's golden year (Golden Indonesia 2045), where every citizen lives in prosperous conditions - free from poverty, healthy, productive and competitive, so micronutrient deficiencies should no longer be a public health issue. Therefore, the Food Fortification Development Nutrition Foundation in Indonesia (KFI) considers it necessary to continue to encourage the government and all stakeholders to strengthen the fortification program (LSFF) in Indonesia. To ensure this is realized, KFI specifically provided input to Bappenas to include LSFF and biofortification in the National Long Term Development Plan (RPJPN) 2025-2045. In fact, KFI considers it necessary that efforts to accelerate comprehensive implementation to realize 100% coverage of mandatory fortification of iodine in salt, vitamin A in cooking oil, and iron in wheat flour and rice in the future must be supported by effective institutions as a forum for coordinating cooperation between actors. . KFI has assisted Bappenas in drafting an inclusive LSFF coordination forum involving multi-stakeholders so that accelerated efforts can be realized and hidden hunger can be overcome thoroughly. In this input, the organizational structure, institutional role, coordination mechanisms, follow-up and monitoring-evaluation have been outlined in a concept prepared jointly by KFI and Bappenas as well as other stakeholders.

In closing, I invite all stakeholders to join forces to collaborate synergistically in accelerating the achievement of 100% mandatory food fortification coverage, thereby making a real contribution to achieving the goal of realizing a Golden Indonesia 2045.

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