indonesiaIndonesia is a Southeast Asian archipelago country comprising about 17,500 islands of which about 11,000 are uninhabited. Its islands are located between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Its population is about 242 million people (2011 estimate), growing at a rapid rate of about 1.9 percent per year. Approximately 58 percent of the total population lives only on one of the islands named Java. The capital of Indonesia is Jakarta.

Context

Context

Indonesia comprises 33 provinces five of which enjoy special status. The provinces are divided into districts (kabupaten) which are sub-divided into sub-districts (kecamatan) and cities (kota). The sub-districts are further divided into groups of villages (desa/kelurahan). Indonesia’s government went through decentralization in 2001giving substantial autonomy to the provinces. Presently, district governments comprising elected officials are responsible for providing most of the government services including agricultural extension.

The climate of Indonesia is tropical with distinct wet and dry monsoon seasons. Average humidity in all inhabited islands is very high with generally high temperatures except in mountainous areas which have cool climate. Indonesia enjoys not only a very high level of biodiversity in flora and fauna, but also its forests cover about 62 percent of the total area, making it the second most heavily forested region in the world after the Amazon.  However, serious environmental issues have risen due to its high population and fast-paced industrialization. Indonesia is rich in natural resources. During the Asian financial crisis of late 1990s, Indonesia was the country which suffered the most.

The agriculture sector is vast and important for Indonesia’s economy. It does not only keeps about 45 percent of the country’s work force engaged in agricultural operations but it also contributed approximately 14 percent to the country’s GDP in 2007. About half of Indonesia’s population is rural. According to the Indonesian Agricultural Census, the number of farm households in 2003 was about 25 million, but many of the farmers are not land owners but farm laborers.  The government has in general followed pro-farmer policies. However, a recent plan of the government to develop a food estate in Papua Province has come under criticism because it could marginalize small farmers and threaten the environment.

About 31 million hectares in Indonesia are under cultivation, with about 40 percent of the cultivated land producing export crops. Approximately 60 percent of the country's cultivated land is located just in the heavily populated Java Island. Traditional farming of both food and export crops is done on small plots of about 0.8 to one hectare size. However, there are hundreds of large, privately owned estates which produce export crops. The primary crop in Indonesia is rice, cultivated in plains as well as in terraces with complex irrigation systems in hilly areas. Major estate crops include rubber (most important), tobacco, sugar cane, palm oil, coffee, tea, cocoa, spices, copra and cinchona.  Secondary crops include soybeans, corn, peanuts, and mung-beans. In highlands, vegetables such as potatoes, cabbage, carrots, and asparagus are grown. Major fruits are bananas, mangos, papaya, oranges, rambutan, salak, durrian, and pineapples. Cassava is an important crop raised in dry areas. Fish is a regular part of Indonesian diet. Prawns raised on massive coastal farms constitute a key export. Small ruminants are a part of mixed farming.

Key Statistics and Indicators

Indicator

Value

Year  

Agricultural land (sq km)

Agricultural land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares)

Arable land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares per person)

536,000

29.58

23,600,000

13.02

0.09

2009

2009

2009

2009

2009

Fertilizer consumption (kg per hectare of arable land)

181.35

2009

Agriculture, value added (% of GDP)

Food production index (2004-2006 = 100)

Food exports (% of merchandise exports)

Food imports (% of merchandise imports)

16.87

121.75

16.36

8.45

2011

2010

2010

2010

GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US$)

2,940

2011

Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above)

Literacy rate, youth female (% of females ages 15-24)

Literacy rate, youth male (% of males ages 15-24)

Ratio of young literate females to males (% ages 15-24)

Ratio of female to male secondary enrollment (%)

92.19

99.38

99.53

99.84

100.22

2008

2008

2008

2008

2010

Mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people)

Internet users (per 100 people)

91.78

9.9

2010

2010

Population, total

Population density (people per sq. km of land area)

Rural population

Rural population (% of total population)

Agricultural population (% of total population)*

Total economically active population**

Total economically active population in agriculture*

Total economically active population in agriculture (in %

    of total economically active population)

Female economically active population in agriculture (% of

     total economically active population in agriculture)*

242,325,638

132.41

111,060,243

45.83

36.95

117,370,000

49,513,000

42.18

39.38

2011

2010

2010

2010

2010

2011

2010

2011

2010

Sources: The World Bank; *Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO,  **ILO Department of Statistics on-line statistical database LABORSTA

Acknowledgements

  • Authored by M. Kalim Qamar (September 2012)
  • Edited by Burton E. Swanson

 

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