Pervading nearly every level of the country’s social, geographic and economic strata, Indonesia’s agrarian roots run deep. The sector provides a livelihood for the majority of households ranging from small family subsistence plots to multinational agribusiness giants, all of whom contribute to supplying sustenance to the world’s fourth-largest population as well as growing cash crops to be shipped out to the far corners of the globe to bring in foreign currency. Perhaps the country’s best-known cash crop export, palm oil has risen to prominence over the past few decades to take on a major role in not only Indonesia, but the world’s, edible oils trade. Public and private efforts to nudge Indonesia closer to food self-sufficiency should continue to pay dividends in staples, particularly rice, which is likely to see continued rises in production with increased hectarage and more efficient farming practices.
This chapter contains an interview with Susi Pudjiastuti, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.