VP Ma’ruf Amin: Agricultural Sector Serves as Backbone of National Economy
Date 13 September 2021
Amid COVID-19 pandemic, agricultural sector recorded a growth of 1.75 percent in 2020 and served as the backbone of national economy.
“The sector has seen a growth, while other sectors experienced a contraction,” Vice President Ma’ruf Amin said during the 2021 Awards Ceremony in Agriculture at the Vice President’s Palace in Jakarta, Monday (13/9).
According to VP, agricultural sector also faced great challenges as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned the world against potential food crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic, he added, may also contribute to the change in a country’s food policy and its crop production.
Nevertheless, VP emphasized that Indonesia is on track at realizing the national agricultural development targets such as meeting people’s needs of food, improving well-being of farmers, and increasing export volume.
“Regarding people’s needs of food, the Government confirmed that the needs of eleven basic commodities for 273 million population are secured,” he said, adding that domestic rice production during the past two years has showed great results.
Ma’ruf added that the resilient food supply is also coupled with a gradual increase in agricultural export.
In the meantime, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) reported that agricultural export value in January-July 2021 amounted to US$2.24 billion, increasing by 8.72 percent compared to that of the same period last year.
“Based on the National Labor Force Survey (Sakernas) in February 2021, most employment is filled from agricultural, forestry, and fisheries sectors with 29.59 percent or increased by 0.36 percent compared to that of February 2020 (29.23 percent),” he explained.
On that occasion, the Vice President also expressed his concern about the well-being of farmers. According to him, the BPS in 2020 has recorded that 46.30 percent of poor households are those coming from farmer families.
VP also expressed hope that the Government continues to improve the well-being of the farmers through innovations and breakthroughs, such as, agrarian reform, production intensification, and improvement of access to the market. He also acknowledged that cooperation between the Central Government and regional governments played a significant role in sustaining resilience in agricultural sector.
Echoing a similar sentiment, Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo underscored that the Ministry will implement several policies and cooperation to improve agricultural sector and meet people’s needs of food.
“We will also draw up stimulus and action plan to maintain the positive growth of agricultural sector that contribute to save the country from prolonged economic recession,” he said.
Syahrul also unveiled the Ministry’s Five Measures to improve national agricultural sector, namely increasing production capacity through mechanization, adopting efficient and effective technological approaches, diversifying local food, strengthening food reserve and logistic system, and implementing Three Fold Export Movement.
“By optimizing the strategies, Ministry of Agriculture is committed to further enhancing cooperation between the Central Government and regional governments. The synergy is necessary to eliminate development gap between central and regional areas or among regions,” he said.
He added that development of agricultural sector can be improved if the Central Government and regional governments create a synergy at ensuring the availability and access to nourishing and nutritious foods to all regions throughout the country.
“For that reason, Ministry of Agriculture really appreciated regional governments for their active roles in increasing rice production and agricultural commodity export,” he remarked. (VICE PRESIDENTIAL SECRETARIAT /UN) (RAS/EP)