Cirendeu Village to Become Alternative Food Area

The Deputy to the Minister of Agriculture, Bayu Krisnamurthi, plans to make Cirendeu Village, in Leuwigajah subdistrict, Cimahi, West Java, an area of alternative food.

According to Bayu, even though this is only an isolated village, the area has never suffered from food shortages.

“This is quite amazing because the villagers never eat rice their whole lives. They live with cassava as their main staple,” said Bayu, Monday (5/4).

As a consequence, he continued, they were never impacted by national rice prices, which are very fluctuating because of Indonesia’s people dependency on it.

Not to mention if a disaster occurred in the region, like a drought or flood, which caused harvest failure.

“This has never become our concern,” a Cirendeu figure, Asep Abbas, told Tempo.

According to him, the amount of national rice stocks eould not affect the community’s food security.

The village where around 300 households live won a food hero village award in 1967.

“Back then there was the revolution and the government was vigorously eradicating the Indonesian Communist Party rebellion. At that time, rice was very rare. There are people who ate because they were starving. We supplied cassava rive to surrounding areas, which we have produced, so that areas around our village were not starving,” he said.
Even though Asep did not appeal to people to switch from rice to cassava, he said that compared to rice, cassava had a greater benefit.

“People around here are healthy, strong and smart, and they can compete in sports. A great number of our children go to study outside of the region and they are successful even though they eat cassava,” he explained.

When health is concerned, Bayu agreed that cassava is good for diabetics, because it has lower sugar level than rice.

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