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    Food Safety, an Important Component of Food Security in West Java

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    BANDUNG - As the increasing purchasing power and public demand for safe and good-quality food products, Government of West Java Province encourages food producers in West Java not to only focus on achieving food security. Furthermore, the Provincial Government of West Java is also now being intensively realizing food safety as one important component of food security.

    Therefore, the Department of Animal Husbandry and Food Security of West Java Province held "Temu Pelaku Usaha Produk Prima 3 Jabar 2017" or a Meeting with Food Product Producers of West Java in Prima 3 2017 that was opened by Vice Governor of West Java Deddy Mizwar at the west parking lot of Sate Building, Diponegoro Street No. 22, Bandung, Thursday (04/06/17). Prima 3 is a food certificate granted to food products with safe and excellent quality categories, with the minimum qualification is that the food products produced are free from pesticides.

    'Prima' certification is the process of granting certificates on products cultivation system which is produced after passing inspection, testing, and monitoring, as well as meeting all the requirements to obtain the product label of Prima One (P-1), Prima Two (P-2), and Prima Three (P-3).

    In his speech, Vice Governor of West Java Deddy Mizwar said the purpose of the implementation of Prima Certification is to provide quality assurance and food safety, to guarantee and protect the public or consumers, to do tracing easier from possible deviations of quality and safety of products, and to increase the added value and competitiveness of products.

    "This food safety has certificates, P-1, P-2 and P-3. The P-1 is in the Centre (Central Competent Authority for Food Safety), while OKKP-D (Regional Competent Authority for Food Safety) gives P-2 and P-3. So, it's not just a problem of food security, but also food safety. So that the people or consumers will consume our food crops - particularly horticulture, fruits and vegetables which are safe," said Demiz after opening the event of Prima 3 Meeting.

    The Vice Governor explained that safe and good-quality products currently have a fairly high market share. Since the level of public awareness of safe food products or horticulture has increased, the Vice Governor requests that the production of Prima 3 food products continues to be cultivated and improved, with one condition that the upstream production costs must be controlled in order to create competitive price.

    "In addition, how production doesn't get too expensive. If it's too expensive, the selling price cannot compete with other imported products. Well, research must show that the production costs of the technology for certified horticultural crops must also be controlled in order can compete," said the Vice Governor.

    "Because today's society already have a high awareness to something that is consumed, they want to be safe. I think this awareness should be grown in society, so the market is getting bigger but the cost of production is not increasing. It should be efficient, so that farmers who get P-3 Certificate also have an adequate profit. Do not let the food safe, but the farmers do not make a profit because the price of the products are expensive, "he added.

    Until now, there are many food commodities in West Java that have been certified as Prima 3. Since 2010 to 2016, OKKPD of Regional Food Security Agency of West Java has already issued 599 certificates of Prima 3, namely food safety for various types of vegetables and fruits. For registration number of fresh food or plant origin, there have been 169 numbers given to farmers or stakeholders in 17 regencies/cities in West Java.

    Meanwhile, in 2017, as many as 197 certificates of Prima 3 and 2 that have passed through the process will be issued and handed over symbolically in the Food Product Producers Gathering of Prima 3. As for who receive the certificates are representatives or farming entrepreneur apparatus in four regencies, namely Bandung, Subang, Majalengka and Indramayu. 

    However, Head of the Department of Animal Husbandry and Food Security of West Java Province, Dody Firman Nugraha revealed that during this time the farmers experienced some obstacles in the certification stage. The stages of certification is carried out strictly, because it concerns with the safety of food for human consumption. Therefore, Dodi said that the Department often directly guides them.

    "The stages carried out by the farmers, sometimes need guidance for the farmers to actually carry out it -- we have the SOP. At the time of applying Prima, both Prima 2 and Prima 3, he (the farmer) has to do it as what has been established by us (OKKP-D)," Dodi said after the event.

    "Well, at that time we guide them directly, if it's not appropriate, we won't tolerate it. Since it's related to food safety, so it can be repeated or retaken (the stages)," he continued.

    The event of Food Product Producers Gathering of Prima 3 is held on April 6th-7th, 2017 at the west parking lot of Sate Building. There are 147 participants, consisting of farmers or stakeholders and apparatus in 16 regencies/cities in West Java. There are 22 booths of products presenting fruits and vegetables that already have a certificate of Prima 3, as well as local food products of regencies/ cities in West Java. Meanwhile, there are 10 kinds of fruits shown during the event and 16 kinds of vegetables, as well as two types of medicinal plants products.

    It is expected that the certification can improve the productivity of excellent horticultural products of West Java labelled as Prima 3, as a guarantee of the product that is safe from pesticide residues. Moreover, the products which are already labelled as Prima 3 can be upgraded to Prima 2 which are safe from pesticide residues and have a good-quality, and to achieve the label of Prima 1 as an export-standard product.

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