When Depok, in West Java, decided to implement a One Day No Rice program, the response was mixed. An official from the Agriculture Ministry said on Saturday the program would now be developed for all of Indonesia to help promote food diversification.
Head of the food security division at the ministry Achmad Suryana said on Saturday that the program aimed to lower the public’s dependence on rice as a food staple.
“Through the program of One Day No Rice, people are expected to reduce rice consumption and shift to other staple foods such as tubers,” Achmad said.
He said the government had tried hard to change people’s mindsets as a way to reduce rice consumption by 1.5 percent annually.
The average rice, corn and wheat consumption of an Indonesian family is 316 grams per capita per day, while it should be 275 grams per capita per day, according to an ideal diet.
Meanwhile, the consumption of tubers is only 40 grams per day, far below the ideal amount of 100 grams per day.
In Depok, the program was implemented by banning Depok administration food courts from serving rice on Tuesday.
Canteens and restaurants in the area later complained that their profits were down by half on Tuesdays.
It is not yet clear how the central government will force people to eat less rice.