OECD Review of Agricultural Policies

ISSN :
1990-004X (online)
ISSN :
1990-0058 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/1990004x
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These reviews present a comprehensive overview and assessment of subject countries’ agricultural policies combined with OECD estimates of the level of support provided to their farm sectors. They also examine such issues as welfare impacts of liberalisation; agricultural commodity markets; grain stock estimates; labour and food safety.

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OECD Review of Agricultural Policies: Indonesia 2012

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Author(s):
OECD
Publication Date :
19 Oct 2012
Pages :
292
ISBN :
9789264179011 (PDF) ; 9789264179004 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/9789264179011-en

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This Review, undertaken in close co-operation with the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture, assesses the performance of Indonesian agriculture over the last two decades, evaluates Indonesian agricultural policy reforms and provides recommendations to address key challenges in the future. The evaluation is based on the OECD Committee for Agriculture’s approach that agriculture policy should be evidence-based and carefully designed and implemented to support productivity, competitiveness and sustainability, while avoiding unnecessary distortions to production decisions and to trade. Conducted in partnership with the OECD Investment Committee, the Review comprises a special chapter highlighting key challenges to be addressed to attract sustainable investment in agriculture, drawing from the OECD Policy Framework for Investment in Agriculture.

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    Foreword

    This Review of Agricultural Policies: Indonesia is part of a series of reviews of national agricultural policies undertaken on behalf of the OECD’s Committee for Agriculture. It was initiated in response to a request from Mr. Suswono, Indonesia’s Minister of Agriculture, who provided full support for the Review. It has been prepared in close co-operation with the Ministry and conducted in partnership with the OECD Investment Committee.

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    Abbreviations
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    Executive Summary

    Indonesia is the world’s 4th most populous country and the 10th largest agricultural producer, just behind Turkey and France and ahead of Germany and Argentina. It is the world’s most important palm oil producer, the second-largest natural rubber producer, and the third-largest rice producer and consumer after China and India. The country is scarce in agricultural land, at one-third of the world’s average when measured in per capita terms, but relatively abundant in water resources.

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    Highlights and policy recommendations

    This Review, undertaken in close co-operation with the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture, assesses the performance of Indonesian agriculture over the last two decades, evaluates Indonesian agricultural policy reforms and provides recommendations to address key challenges in the future. The evaluation is based on the OECD Committee for Agriculture’s approach that agriculture policy should be evidence-based and carefully designed and implemented to support productivity, competitiveness and sustainability, while avoiding unnecessary distortions to production decisions and to trade. Conducted in partnership with the OECD Investment Committee, the Review comprises a special chapter highlighting key challenges to be addressed to attract sustainable investment in agriculture, drawing from the OECD Policy Framework for Investment in Agriculture.

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    Synthèse et recommandations pour l'action publique

    Cet Examen, réalisé en étroite collaboration avec le ministère indonésien de l’Agriculture, évalue la performance de l’agriculture indonésienne au fil des deux dernières décennies ainsi que les réformes engagées dans ce domaine, avant de formuler des recommandations pour relever les grands défis à l’avenir. L’analyse se fonde sur le point de vue du Comité de l’agriculture de l’OCDE selon lequel les politiques agricoles doivent s’appuyer sur des observations factuelles, être élaborées et appliquées avec discernement pour soutenir la productivité, la compétitivité et le développement durable, et éviter de fausser les décisions de production et les échanges. Réalisé en partenariat avec le Comité de l’investissement de l’OCDE, cet Examen intègre un chapitre spécial consacré aux principaux défis à relever pour attirer des investissements durables dans le secteur agricole, qui met à profit le Cadre d’action pour l’investissement agricole de l’OCDE.

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    The policy context

    This chapter examines the key issues that have shaped the development of the Indonesian agricultural sector and that have conditioned policy responses over the last two decades. Indonesia was deeply affected by the 1997-98 Asian crisis which activated a large programme of reforms including opening up to international competition and capital inflows. These reforms helped to achieve macroeconomic and political stability and to create more favourable conditions for the development of agriculture, an important sector providing employment for 38% of active population and contributing 15% of GDP in 2010. The farm structure is based on small family farms ranging on average from 0.3 ha in Java to 1.4 ha for irrigated land off-Java. Large commercial farms, located mainly in Sumatra and Kalimantan, specialise in perennial crops, in particular palm oil and rubber. These two commodities account for around 60% of total agro-food exports and contribute to a significant surplus in Indonesia’s agro-food trade. While Indonesia has made significant progress in poverty eradication, 13% of its population continues to live below the nationally-defined poverty line. Poverty incidence in rural areas is twice as high as in urban areas. Increase in agricultural productivity and higher farm incomes are among the key factors towards further progress in poverty reduction. Food consumption has improved, but hunger and undernourishment persist in some areas. Smallholders are constrained by slow progress in registration of land rights which limits access to credit and by poorly developed infrastructure restricting their access to markets. Natural resources and the environment are under strong pressure, partly due to the expansion of agricultural land leading to large-scale deforestation and soil erosion, but also due to the over-exploitation of marine resources, and water pollution from agricultural chemicals. While higher yields of perennial crops will contribute to output growth, most of the production growth is still projected to come from the expansion of the planted area.

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    Policy trends and evaluation

    This chapter examines agricultural policy and the support provided to agricultural producers in Indonesia since 1990. The main priorities of agricultural policy concern food self-sufficiency, food diversification, value-added and competitiveness, and farmers’ welfare. The Ministry of Agriculture has a primary role in developing and implementing policies to achieve these objectives, but a number of other central government ministries and agencies also have significant roles. A wide range of input subsidies on fertiliser, seeds, credit, etc., is used to support agricultural producers. The number and budgetary cost of these measures have grown rapidly since the mid-2000s. The introduction of a targeted rice for the poor programme (RASKIN) in 1998 has allowed the government to steadily increase the minimum producer price of rice, but at the cost of increasing budgetary expenditure on RASKIN. Tariffs have fallen significantly over the period. The average tariff on agriculture (excluding alcoholic beverages) has dropped from 20% in 1990 to 5% in 2010. Import monopolies, licensing requirements and export restrictions on agricultural products were removed in 1997-98. However, quantitative import restrictions have been reintroduced, notably for rice, sugar and beef. Import requirements imposed for SPS and cultural reasons (i.e. halal certification) are becoming more stringent. They are often implemented in a non-transparent manner and add to the cost of importing. Export taxes have been reinstated on crude palm oil and its derived products, and recently introduced on cocoa. The level of support to producers as measured by the %PSE averaged 9.3% in 2006-10, varying between –10% in 2008 and 21% in 2010. This variation reflects the government’s efforts to stabilise domestic prices and to balance interests of producers and consumers in the context of price volatility on international markets. The total value of transfers arising from support to agriculture was equivalent to 1.9% of GDP in 2006-10.

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    Promoting sustainable investment in agriculture

    This chapter highlights key challenges to be addressed to attract sustainable investment in agriculture, drawing from the OECD Policy Framework for Investment in Agriculture (Annex 3.A1).

    While total domestic and foreign investment have steadily increased in Indonesia since the Asian crisis in 1997-98, investment in agriculture has remained relatively low compared with the importance of the sector in terms of GDP and employment. Access to land is still a long and difficult process for companies, due to low land registration levels and complicated land rights. Unclear legislation following the decentralisation process has generated higher uncertainty for investors. While significant efforts have been made in recent years to streamline licensing procedures, companies still need to obtain numerous permits and licenses from the central and local governments. Infrastructure development can effectively contribute to increasing agricultural productivity and enhance the development of competitive value chains, but Indonesia lags behind most Southeast Asian countries. Investment by smallholders is also constrained by a limited access to credit. Finally, foreign investment is constrained by increasing restrictions on foreign ownership.

    The policy framework must ensure that new investments generate not only higher but also sustainable growth. Promoting environmentally and socially responsible investment in agriculture remains a major challenge. Although efforts have been made to strengthen environmental legislation, its enforcement is still weak. Agricultural extensification led to deforestation, and confusing forest classifications and vested interests undermine the efforts to curb high deforestation rates. Due to the complex land tenure system and the weak recognition of customary land rights, land rights of smallholders and local communities are often ignored by large-scale investors, leading to an increasing number of land conflicts. Business partnerships between large investors and local communities have the potential to bring inclusive development if existing land rights are respected.

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