04 August, 2011

Agriculture: The Forgotten One

In the modern State of Indonesia, that is quite old, the Indonesian people still covered a wide range of issues. The Indonesia's economic crisis in 1998 is peak impotence of the country's problems. The economic crisis led President Soeharto resigned before his term ended.

The end of Soeharto-era and is not accompanied by the end of the economic crisis. The leadership changes and changes in economic policies cannot help people rise from poverty. Rising prices and falling purchasing power make people choke and forced them to return to the use of wood for cooking and tubers for food. Conditions are not very different with the food shortages in the 1950s, when President Sukarno was in power. This shows that this nation has no significant progress after 55 years.

Indonesia is rich in natural resources with enormous potential of it. On the basis of those considerations, it seems reasonable, if the people proud with Indonesia as an agrarian country. However, it was not accompanied by the desire of the pride wealth to develop and exploit it. This was proved when the agricultural sector is no longer seen as the economic arm of the country. The rulers of this country more temptation to stimulate industrialization and mechanization, which was helpless when the wave of economic crisis.

The agricultural sector has proven to be a sector that remains standing strong when the economic crisis engulfing the nation. Agriculture is not negatively affected from the shock of economic crisis. In fact, when the conglomerates in the capital fell into bankruptcy and debt, some farmers in different regions of increased incomes and improved living standards. The fall of the rupiah against the dollar could increase the selling value of commodities produced by farmers. This makes the agricultural sector still exist and persist.

Agricultural economic system has proven to increase employment. When other companies went bankrupt and dismissed its employees in connection with the economic crisis, the agricultural sector remains strong and simply ogled many to be the place for business. Employment in the agricultural sector is open to all, the experience is different. The agricultural sector can absorb skilled manpower and unskilled. Production processes in the agricultural sector can take place in towns and villages in order to reduce the urbanization, which is now growing. According to the Ministry of agriculture (2002) of the agro-industrial sector can increase employment more than 350,432 peoples.

Agricultural development no longer a priority. Agricultural functions in the economic system of Indonesia has inexistence. Since 1985, the development paradigm has shifted into high-tech industry-driven development. In fact, based industrialization development strategy will trap the nation from dependence on imported raw materials. In other words, the industry is highly vulnerable to the volatility of the rupiah against the dollar advanced and can deplete foreign exchange reserves, so it will not be helpless when faced with economic crisis.

Ironically, once Indonesia is self-sufficient in rice in 1984, it has become one of the largest in the country of the rice importers. Indonesia had made a sale of aircraft production PTDI are compensation with Thailand. Aircraft is exchanged with the rice, an act that should not be done by an agrarian country, such as Indonesia.

The Government in Soeharto-era seems satisfied with the award to the achievements of FAO Rice self-sufficiency in 1984. Direction of development made the leap to sophisticated high-tech industry. The lack of attention to the agricultural sector is the beginning of a calamity to the nation. Farmlands converted into industrial land will give rise to food production declined. The population and the availability increased demand for food in abundance. Rice imports a final exit. (Photo courtesy of UN File/P Sudhakaran).

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