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Jakarta Post

Beef importation: Slow productivity, protectionist policy and rent-seeking

  • Risti Permani

Adelaide, Australia   /   Wed, February 6 2013   /  08:16 am

The beef industry is becoming more economically and politically important in Indonesia. Political sensitivity in the beef sector has significantly escalated after the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) named a political party’s leader a suspect in a bribery case related to the government’s procurement of imported beef.

While it is important to continue the legal process, a better understanding of how to best approach Indonesia’s beef self-sufficiency target is required. Many Indonesians ask one “simple” question through social media “Why do we still need to import beef?” They say this question is relevant because of the potential rent-seeking activities triggered by the implementation of protectionist trade and the figure of 14.8 million head of cattle reported in the 2011 livestock census.

Indonesia defines self-sufficiency as local production being abl...