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Jakarta Post

Raising farmer productivity key to achieving food security

  • Senthil Nathan

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PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Tue, April 16, 2019   /  03:28 pm
Raising farmer productivity key to achieving food security Green city: A farmer waters his vegetables in Semanan, Kalideres, West Jakarta recently. Many farmers rent idle land in Jakarta owned by big companies and turn it into productive plots by planting rice and various vegetables. Such land, however, is getting more and more scarce. (The Jakarta Post/R. Berto Wedhatama)

The chances are that a predominant portion of food you relished for breakfast today has come from smallholder farmers. In Indonesia, 93 percent of all farmers are smallholders, whose landholding averages a modest 0.6 hectares. For comparison, the average farm size in the United States is 180 ha. Such small landholding often makes them vulnerable to economic shocks and least prepared for the era of climate change. Almost one-fifth of the smallholder farmers in Indonesia already lives below the national poverty line. This must change. Transforming smallholder agriculture is vital for Indonesia’s economic growth, sustainability and food security. It is, nonetheless, a challenging endeavor. Many variables that affect smallholders are beyond their control, such as the price that they get for their produce and the vagaries of weather. Controllable variables such as yield improvemen...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.