House Vice Speaker Calls on Govt to Pay More Attention to Farmers
Vice Speaker of the House, Abdul Muhaimin Iskandar, presides over a meeting. Photo: Jaka/Man
The House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia urges Indonesian government to pay more attention to the economic growth driven by the agricultural sector in order to increase investment in that sector, said Vice Speaker of the House, Abdul Muhaimin Iskandar. Statistics Indonesia previously reported that Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 5.32% in the second quarter of 2020. On a quarterly basis, Indonesia’s economy has contracted 4.19%, and 1.26% in overall in the first half compared to the same period of last year.
At the same time, however, the agricultural GDP rose to 16.24% in the second quarter of 2020. The agriculture sector is the main contributor of the increase of GDP by 2.19% in the second quarter 2020. The agricultural sector’s contribution grew from 13.57% to 15.46% in the second quarter from a year earlier.
“We can stimulate the agricultural sector growth by increasing investment and giving more incentives,” he said in a written statement on Friday (7/8/2020). “Government’s investment can be increased by giving agricultural loan, increasing research and agricultural development funds, intensifying the use of agricultural technology, increasing the number of new farmers.”
The Vice Speaker of the Indonesian House for People's Welfare also hopes that the government will provide more incentives to farmers as the Farmers Exchange Value (NTP) increase in July 2020 has not fully benefited farmers in Indonesia. Uneven distribution of infrastructure for transporting and harvesting crops at the same time is also a key issue to deal with.
“It is a recurring problem. A good absorption and distribution mechanism must be found to reduce pile-up of crop. A real breakthrough is needed to find a solution on how to distribute agricultural products better.” The National Awakening Party (PKB) Politician said.
Iskandar hopes that the government can absorb farmers' products at a reasonable price to boost NTP, especially in the food crops and horticulture sub-sector. He believes that agriculture is a reliable sector to stimulate economic growth.
Thus, Iskandar encourages the shift of agriculture orientation in Indonesia to Food Sovereignty Concept as specified in the the National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN) that has become the government’s vision. This concept is in line with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working Rural Areas (UNDROP).
“Introducing this concept to farmers and fishermen is considered particularly important for them to become the main food producers and reduce dependency on imported products. It is high time now to carry out land distribution through food diversification and agricultural reform. This concept can offer a solution to food crisis during this COVID-19 pandemic.” Iskandar concluded. (pun/sf)