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Jakarta Post

[COMMENTARY] The imbroglio of foreign investment in the horticultural seed business

  • Vincent Lingga


Jakarta   /   Wed, October 21 2020   /  01:00 am
Harvest time: Farmers in Sirnagalih village in Bogor, West Java, harvest rice on July 25, 2019 amid a prolonged draught. West Java is one of the country’s major rice-supplying regions. (JP/P.J. Leo)

One of the greatest impacts of the Job Creation Law on the agricultural sector is the liberalization of foreign direct investment (FDI) in developing hybrid seeds for horticulture, which produces vegetables, fruits, flowers and bio-pharmacy products. The jobs law abolishes the 30 percent cap on FDI in horticultural seed development by amending the 2010 Horticulture Law, which has constricted Indonesia’s agriculture since 2015. Unfortunately, there is great uncertainty about the liberalization of FDI. Several narrow-minded farming and civil-society organizations will surely challenge the amendment at the Constitutional Court, and they may likely win because the same court turned down a petition for judicial review advocating for the repeal of the same FDI restriction filed by the Association of Horticultural Seed Producers in early 2015. But such an imbroglio in the seed de...