Forthcoming in Choices 24(2), 2009
Agriculture in Indonesia: Lagging Performance and Difficult Choices
by Richard Barichello (Univ. of British Columbia) and Arianto A. Patunru (Univ. of Indonesia)
Indonesia's agriculture is significant in several world markets and continues to employ large numbers of the population, but is facing numerous difficult choices. Lagging productivity, conflicts across high farm prices, politics, and poverty, and environmental challenges combine to give reason for a reform of policies in this sector. We identify six major issues, chosen from the perspective of their political importance as well as what we judge to be their importance to the country's agricultural development prospects. It is striking how similar they are to those in other agricultural sectors around the world, especially in the OECD countries. Producer- consumer food price conflicts, slow productivity growth, public support of biofuels programs, environmental conflicts, and poverty reduction have generated the key policy debates within the sector.