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Agriculture contribution to Indonesian economy declining

Publication Date : 13-08-2014


Amid the decline in farming areas and productivity, the agricultural sector’s contribution to the Indonesian economy is weakening, says the latest agricultural census conducted by the Central Statistics Agency (BPS).

BPS deputy chairman for production statistics Adi Lumaksono said Tuesday that the 2013 Agriculture Census showed the agricultural sector’s contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) had decreased to 14.43 per cent last year from 15.19 per cent in 2003.

However, despite the decline, the agricultural sector remained the third-largest contributor after the industrial and trade sector.

“A similar census also shows that there are 38.07 million people who work in the country’s agriculture sector. The sector is listed as the second-largest after manufacturing with regard to employee workforces,” he said during the presentation of the census results.

BPS head Suryamin said the waning contribution of the agricultural sector was not only due the decline in farming areas but also the fall in productivity.

Suryamin said that the census found that about 70 per cent out of the country’s 28.28 million poor people were employed as farm workers. But the latest trend indicated that the number of farm workers had declined, as many
land owners sold their farming areas, he added.

 According to the census, farm workers in subsectors of horticulture, cattle and fishery were leaving their professions at the highest rates, 37 per cent, 30.6 per cent, 21 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively, per year.

Meanwhile, he said in rice farming activities, only 0.4 per cent of workers were abandoning their professions a year, despite the country’s high rice imports.

On the other hand, Suryamin said that around 2.4 million farmers had partnerships with the industrial sector, a business link that gave them more added value.

“So, an improved and industrialised agriculture sector will help people escape poverty and help the country reach self-sufficiency in food,” he said.

Suryamin said the 2013 Agriculture Census, which was carried out in May last year, would be more helpful to decision makers because unlike previous surveys, the new census gave measurable targets.

Suryamin further said that the census divided the agriculture sector into subsectors of crops, horticulture, plantation, cattle, fishery and forestry, with their own main products for the government or private sector to focus their help.

Adi added that the census was complimented with detailed statistical enumerations, such as demography, number of farmers’ households to help, social situations and their production centers.

The government has conducted various programs to help farmers in need, such as providing subsidies for fertilizers and seeds supplies, but several of them might have missed their targets.

We hope this census helps direct decision makers to carry out better efforts,” he said.


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