Sustainable agriculture in Indonesia: Facts and challenges to keep growing in harmony with environment
Keywords:Indonesia, agriculture, sustainable, facts, challenges
The nature of agricultural production system in Indonesia is very diverse from shifting cultivation to intensive crop farming, from rain-fed to intensive-irrigated paddy field, from vegetables mix farming to monoculture industrial plantations, from subsistence small-scale farming to large-scale commercial plantation. As the fourth most populous country in the world that is inhabited by 250 million people, agriculture plays a substantial role in Indonesian economy which generates close to half of total employment and accounts for about a fifth of GDP, as well as the very important contributor of export. Notwithstanding the great potential resources and market demand, the sustainability of agriculture in the country remains challenging. The challenge is how to continue the agricultural development and economic growth that is needed to improve the quality of life and the basic needs of the growing population while at the same time to protect the environment by reducing the pressure on the carrying capacity. Rapid pace of agricultural development in the last four decades –as well as the commercialization, industrialization and urbanization– has led to significant changes in agricultural production systems. In some regions, modernization ofagricultural technologies has increased production to keep pace with the population growth, but other problems in supply chain and distribution still plague many communities and regions. Concerning the current conditions of agricultural practices in dealing with the needs to improve productivity and at the same time to conserve the environment and natural resources, we need to adjust our understanding and formulate action strategies for developingagricultural practices better and more sustainable future. This paper discussed the present status of agricultural condition and practices in Indonesia as well as some challenges and strategiesto overcome.