Fri, 26 Aug 1994

Govt asked to reduce intervention in farming

BOGOR, West Java (JP): A seminar suggested here yesterday that the government reduce intervention in agricultural development in a bid to encourage greater participation by farmers.

The seminar, organized by the Center for Development Studies of the Bogor Institute of Agriculture, concluded that the decentralization program in developing the agricultural sector has to be improved because it has been the most efficient way of dealing with agricultural problems.

Alirahman of the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas), one of the speakers at yesterday's seminar, said that the decentralization will allow local experts to participate effectively in dealing with specific agricultural problems.

He acknowledged that several factors have supported the success of the agricultural development, including the policy on rice and fertilizer pricing, the development of agricultural technology, farmer training and the improvement of agricultural infrastructures.

Alirahman said the agricultural development has made Indonesia, which used to be the world's largest rice importer, self-sufficient in rice since 1984.

The agricultural sector has also absorbed 36.5 million workers, or 49 percent of the country's total workforce as of 1993. (05)