subsistence crops, Plantation estates, rice production, coconuts, cassava
The agriculture sector led the Indonesian economy in output until 1991, when it was overtaken by manufacturing. In 2000 agriculture accounted for 17 percent of the GDP. Annual output grew by 3 percent per year during the early and mid-1990s. Some 17 percent of all land is under cultivation for field crops or used for plantations. Small farms produce most of the subsistence crops but also contribute substantial proportions of the nation’s rubber and tobacco. Plantation estates produce rubber, tobacco, sugar, palm oil, coffee, tea, and cacao, mostly for export.
Food crops accounted for 59 percent of the agricultural GDP in 1993. Rice is the major staple food of the country, and the yield in 2001 was 49 million metric tons. Indonesia was once a larger importer of rice, but in the late 1960s and 1970s the government introduced improved varieties of rice, increased the use of fertilizers and pesticides, provided better infrastructure for irrigation, and improved the systems of farm credit. As a result, rice production grew annually by 5 percent between 1969 and 1984. Most of the rice is grown on Java.
Other important crops are cassava, maize, sweet potatoes, coconuts, sugarcane, soybeans, peanuts, tea, tobacco, and coffee. Rubber is also an important crop. Livestock raised include cattle, buffalo, pigs, goats, sheep, and poultry. Indonesia’s chief agricultural exports include coffee, tea, cocoa, spices, and natural rubber, but together they account for less than 10 percent of the country’s total exports. Large quantities of food are still imported.
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