Farming Technology

Feb 20th, 2007, in Business & Economy, IM Posts, by

Farmers in Indonesia are judged to be far behind their peers in comparable countries.

Agriculture minister Anton Apriyantono said in Jakarta on the 16th that Indonesian farmers were far behind their counterparts in countries like Vietnam and Thailand. New advances in farming technology were taking a long time to reach Indonesian farmers, he said. The world was changing, and foreign farmers adapted and changed with it, he went on, but Indonesian farmers tended to stand still.

Age Old Farming Methods
Time Honoured.

Many farmers had not even caught up with technology and techniques that are now considered old or superseded.

The department responsible for developing and applying improved agriculture methods, the Badan Litbang Deptan, was overflowing with staff, he said, but little of what they produced ever reached the men on the land. The transmission of new and improved knowledge had to be done in new ways, he said. Researchers should go out to farms and get their hands dirty so as to learn the real situation for farmers, and enable them to interact better, and directly apply the things they knew.

Anton Apriyantono
Anton Apriyantono.

The Department of Agriculture is currently engaged in efforts to increase national rice production by 2 million tons, and by doing so increase the earnings of farmers by one and a half times in the next three years. [1]


29 Comments on “Farming Technology”

  1. avatar Bas says:
    February 20th, 2007 at 5:46 am

    Not surprising in a country where 99% of the people think human being was created from 0 a few thousands year ago.

  2. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:
    February 20th, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    Bas said:

    Not surprising in a country where 99% of the people think human being was created from 0 a few thousands year ago.

    I fail to see the relevance of that statement, in Midwestern America, in the Bible Belt, many enough people believe the same thing but that has not stopped them developing advanced agricultural techniques.

    Peace

  3. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:
    February 20th, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    Friends,

    This information about Indonesian farmers being backward is just not true. We are the most advanced nation in farming. Our farmers are the most pintar and smart when it comes to farming. Don’t be fooled by the hype.

    Our wet-rice agriculture is the original permaculture and hydroculture concept.

    In this matter, we are far better than the Bule.

    Thank you, Friends.

  4. avatar Robert says:
    February 20th, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    Achmad,

    For the sake of this discussion, let suppose your arguments are valid. Why do these enormous amounts of rice have to be imported then? It seems to get worse the last couple of years.
    And how did countries like Thailand and Vietnam become such big rice exporters? It seems they might be smart as well.

  5. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:
    February 20th, 2007 at 2:48 pm

    As our farmers cannot afford fertilisers and insecticides perhaps we should concentrate on marketing the rice abroad as organic, that way we could sell our premium organic rice to the west at premium prices and then import low quality cheap rice to feed the farmers and still make lots of profit at the farmers expense.

    We wouldn’t need to educate them any better so they could still be manipulated by the politicians, and their stomachs would be full of cheap rice so they won’t complain so much!

    A Quote from CSIRO Australia:

    “Rats are the number one pest for the Indonesian rice farmers,” he explains. “Rats eat nearly twenty per cent of the rice crop each year; that’s enough rice annually to feed more than 25 million people for a year. Rats also have a severe effect on a local scale. It is not unusual for a village to lose more than half their crop to rats.”

    Perhaps we could also persuade the farmers to kill more rats. But if they can’t afford the fertilisers and pesticides, how could they possibly afford the bensin to come to Jakarta , and how would they possibly gain access to Gedung MPR-DPR without Uang Rokok.

    Peace

  6. avatar Robert says:
    February 20th, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    Mohammed,

    Your description of the actual situation makes sense. However, the problems you mention are not new, are they? The rat problem isn’t something new. What plan does the Indonesian Government have to resolve all this problems?

    I do think that farmers in Vietnam and Thailand also have their specific problems. Their problems didn’t prevent their from nations becoming big rice exporters. Especially the difference between Indonesia and Vietnam is striking.

    I am not blaming the farmers, they can’t help it. But the Indonesian Government should have addressed the problems in a more resolute manner.

  7. avatar 1ndra says:
    February 20th, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    The rat is consist of two, the animal rat and the human rat.
    Both must be eliminated.

  8. avatar Madesh says:
    February 20th, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    Let’s ask the doctor autopsying Munir about the chemical used, and then start using it to eradicate the human rats mentioned.

  9. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:
    February 20th, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    Robert,

    It’s simple.

    Indonesians are generous. We like to give to our family and friends. Therefore the demand for rice goes up. Therefore we must import.

    The Thais are sneaky – they don’t want to share. So the Thai rice sellers will sell overseas.

    Vietnam is a communist country. The government will force them to sell abroad and force the locals to eat sweet-potato-leaf .

    Also, there is the comparative advantage. Friend, it is a modern economic theory, that of gains-from-trade. Indonesia sells things it is good at making and imports what it needs.

    That is why we must do the import, Friend.

    Peace,

    Achmad

  10. avatar Madesh says:
    February 20th, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    Please be just frank and honest that Indonesia can not provide its people with their own rice produce, that’s why Indonesia needs to import rice from other country. (full stop).
    Do not try to find any odd reason as it is just the way politicians to fool the people.

  11. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:
    February 20th, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    Robert,

    You used the words plan, government and resolve all in the same sentence, that doesn’t happen here! ;-)

    1ndra,

    Perhaps we could propose that one type of rat is used as a source of nutrition, very popular in parts of Thailand, Cambodia an Laos I believe, the other rat could be used to help pull the ploughs or even as a cheap source of fertiliser!

    Madesh,

    Get a life! If you don’t have anything constructive or at least humorous to contribute, just go find some other nation to be antagonistic towards.

    Peace

  12. avatar Ali says:
    February 20th, 2007 at 11:08 pm

    Guys, let’s welcome our president, A. Sudarsono, he’s back.

  13. avatar Madesh says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 4:30 am

    Khafi,

    I just want to express my concerns of how bad our governments have achieved that make our nation centuries left behind from our neighbours.
    Are you satisfied with what happens now in this country?

    Peace bro

  14. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 8:59 am

    Madesh,

    Another reason is that we eat alot of candies that use rice at weddings and ceremonies, like Kue Lapis. In Thailand and Vietnam, they don’t use such candies.

    I think the government is just trying to make sure everyone still has kue lapis.

    Sometimes, friend, we have to respect our leaders. They are working hard to try to do a good job.

    Achmad.

  15. avatar looking for sally says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 11:04 am

    Achmad, are you saying that Anton was wrong? That the Indonesian farmer were far in front of their counterparts in ASEAN? I really think you were being sarcastic, I have been involved in the agricultural industry for the last 10 years and for sure farmer in Indonesia was far behind and the goverment is responsible for that.

    One thing I know is that goverment don’t take themself as giving service to farmer and its industry, they REGULATE and you know what its mean by regulation, ‘if you can make it difficult why would you make it easy’ and regulation means money.

    If you are trying to produce a seed in Indonesia, you will have to pay for registration, quarantine, certification and even if you are producing it in Java you have to pay quarantine to send it outside Java, and a whole lot of regulations and fees along the way. All of that cost will have to be paid right so the seed price will hike.

    And if farmer were not able to but hybrid seed, they will have to plant their own produced seed which means lower production and lower quality, lower income.

    Goverment is trying hard to improve and help the farmer for sure, but they should be doing harder and the people deserve that from the government they vote for.

  16. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 11:45 am

    Looking for Sally,

    That’s interesting. As usual, I should probably shut up in the presence of people who know what they are talking about. :-)

    Questions for you:

    * So do you think Indonesia’s rice-production underperfomance is policy driven?

    * Do Malaysia and Thailand have better policies?

    * Finally, why so much political turmoil about importing a product. Sheesh, we import everything else, electronics, ideas, capital, even oil now. It’s called trade. Is it because:

    - Of the emotional symbolism of rice to the Rakyat?
    - A nation-wide clique of Golkar & other politically connected scumbags with links to Bulog whose own little corrupt sinecures are under threat from imports?
    - None of the above?

    It’d be interesting to hear any thoughts you might have.

    Achmad.

  17. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 12:32 pm

    I vote for number two.

  18. avatar Cukurungan says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    Most Indo import rice was not driven by shortage Indo rice production but rather work of the dirty hand of the sindicat rice importer and bulog, they were benefiting import rice from the excessive or dumped product of Thai and Vietnam at cost of misery our farmer.

  19. avatar 1ndra says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    Thats whats called human rat, they need to be pestisided.

  20. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    Or sterilised! :-)

  21. avatar Hassan says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    Or circumcised.

    Huh?

  22. avatar 1ndra says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    They import the rice but at the same time make ‘operasi pasar’ and give the worst rice.
    Old rotten rice maybe?

  23. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    1ndra,

    They don’t just import the bad rice, they export the good stuff which is subsidised by the government, sell it abroad, then buy the cheap one to pocket the difference in price! Where have you been 1ndra? :-)

  24. avatar looking for sally says:
    February 22nd, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    Achmad

    I am not saying I knew what I am talking about, but based on my experiences including being taught in IPB Bogor the agricultural sector has not been nurtured properly and most of the farmers in Indonesia are poor.

    Indonesia is currently having 6 million hectares of land that could be planted with rice on irrigation but the irrigation that work in reality may only be 2 or 3 mil ha. (the goverment has not been taking care of its irigation system). Once the rice is harvested on a panen raya the price will drop and there’s nothing a farmer can do about it as they dont have power to bargain and not many farmer have processor to process their harvests or store it untill the price stabilized (and Bulog should be able to purchase, process and store the rice).

    Rice has been a very political commodity because its a staple food, and the number of production has been used ever since Suharto regime as a indicator of succes of the goverment.

    Thai and Mal especially thai has been very sucessfull in Agricultural because the goverment support the farmer. Tax deduction, research institution, price stability, subsidy on seed, fertilizer. Providing infrasturcture to process the harvest, policies to maintain the price.

    The goverment has been looking after farmer as a short period program, everytime the Minister change they will have their own agenda and priorities, and nobody is really looking at ways to improve farmer wealth and living status in long term.

    Well we can talk and discuss about it but in simple way I would say ‘damn, all those natural resources, the soil fertility, the climate, wasted.

  25. avatar 1ndra says:
    February 22nd, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    “They don’t just import the bad rice, they export the good stuff which is subsidised by the government, sell it abroad, then buy the cheap one to pocket the difference in price! Where have you been 1ndra?”

    In Bulog, exporting the good rice and importing the bad one, shhh, dont tell anyone. :D

    The farming technologies must be studied advancedly, we could see, nowadays there is less ‘sawah dan ladang’ in Indonesia because many people prefer live in ‘sawah’, I mean they’re converting the ‘sawah’ into houses so the farmer could make double in quantity (sure with quality increment too).

    If the farmer arent using advanced technologies (who will offer that?) then there is starvation everywhere. I mean not much starvation because there’re will be increment of richer people in Bulog.
    Conspiracy theory? :D

  26. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:
    February 23rd, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    Looking For Sally,

    Thanks for the comments. I’m sure if you went to IPB you know more than most people writing about rice in Indonesia on the internet. (I hear that now it’s been nicknamed ‘Institut Pesantren Bogor’, but that’s a whole other topic). Hmm, questions and more questions.

    The obvious one is why does the government take care of farmers intelligently in Thailand, but not in Indonesia? Is it democracy?

    Next question, is what is the answer to Indonesia’s and its farmers rice problems. Imports surely are in the short term, but then what?

    Achmad.

  27. avatar Dragonwall says:
    December 18th, 2007 at 7:06 am

    Actually they could barter trade on products against fertilizers. Or the government set up something to like go betweens and earn some extras.

    In fact that I know of, feeds and fertilizers are easily obtainable in Indonesia except people dare not venture into it more wihtout and guarantee.

    Charoen Pokphand is one of the biggest feed producers. Gold Coin in another. I was once told that one of these company defaulted payments on raw materials and suddenly a shortage of these products.

    Some fruit growers do not use fertilizers but there are some who uses them like CAP, DAP, DPP mostly phosphate related biproduce.

    It certainly taste sweeter anyway.

  28. avatar Francis Lim says:
    June 26th, 2009 at 2:32 am

    Hello,
    I’m Francis Lim….from the Philippines. I’ve been reading your thread and it is very heartening to read your comments regarding your country. I believe we have a very similar situation here also. May all of you never lose your fervor and that my own countrymen can somehow regain theirs as well.
    Thanks,
    Francis LIm

  29. avatar sam says:
    December 20th, 2010 at 1:07 am

    Dear Sir,
    I would to share some of my views about idonesian attitude.I would like to blame the government offical .Because of government offical the farmers and other sector of indonesia cannot grow. Main fact is all are corrupt . for giving information also government offical expect money.With money we cannot get good information .Those people should understand that this is their duty and Government is paying them.
    regards,
    Sam



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