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Indonesian Rice Production: Policies And Realities


  • Pantjar Simatupang
  • C. Peter Timmer


Indonesian rice production grew rapidly between 1977 and 1982, but the self-sufficiency achieved in 1984 was short-lived. Growth declined gradually from about 1982, eventually stabilising at a low rate in the late 1990s. This paper discusses factors that have influenced these outcomes over the last five decades, in an attempt to inform policy makers interested in trying to restore self-sufficiency. The earlier experience showed that self-sufficiency was technically feasible, but also that its achievement was costly, both fiscally and in economic opportunities forgone. Little appears to have changed in this regard, and recent attempts to shift this cost to consumers by raising rice prices have increased poverty. We show that increases in rice production could best be achieved by rehabilitating irrigation infrastructure and revitalising research and extension activities. However, large investments by the government in rice should not be undertaken in the absence of thorough economic cost-benefit analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Pantjar Simatupang & C. Peter Timmer, 2008. "Indonesian Rice Production: Policies And Realities," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(1), pages 65-80.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:bindes:v:44:y:2008:i:1:p:65-80
    DOI: 10.1080/00074910802001587

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peter H. Lindert, 2000. "Shifting Ground: The Changing Agricultural Soils of China and Indonesia," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262122278, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Axelsson, Tobias & Palacio, Andrés, 2017. "Transforming Indonesia: Structural change in a regional perspective 1968-2010," Lund Papers in Economic History 164, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
    2. Oktaviani, Rina & Amaliah, Syarifah & Ringler, Claudia & Rosegrant, Mark W. & Sulser, Timothy B., 2011. "The impact of global climate change on the Indonesian economy:," IFPRI discussion papers 1148, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Ian Gillson & Amir Fouad, 2015. "Trade Policy and Food Security : Improving Access to Food in Developing Countries in the Wake of High World Prices," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 20537.
    4. World Bank, 2010. "Indonesia : Agriculture Public Expenditure Review 2010," World Bank Other Operational Studies 13069, The World Bank.

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