FT.com’s beyondbrics is optimistic about the future of agriculture in Indonesia:
Agriculture already accounts for at least 15 per cent of Indonesia’s GDP, employs nearly 43 per cent of the country’s available labour force and generates annual trade flows of $44.5bn
In the article, a Rabobank report also elaborated on Indonesia’s key agricultural products, where palm oil is evidently Indonesia’s greatest revenue maker (along with rubber, cocoa and coffee subsequently).
Recently, however, the palm oil industry have been getting a lot of spotlight due to alleged orangutan killings, in the name of protecting palm oil plantations of PT Khaleda Agroprima Malindo, a subsidiary of Malaysia-based Metro Kajang Holdings Bhd in East Kalimantan’s Kutai Kartanegara regency.
Problem is, the orangutans killing spree is not just a recent occurrence, but it has been there ever since. Paper from K.T. Tan, et. al:
Moreover, there are also reports that confused orangutans wandering in their former habitats that have been turn into oil palm plantations are often killed for meat and to protect newly planted crops. With their habitat destroyed, hungry orangutans will turn their attention to the young palm trees, where they can cause considerable damage and thus creating conﬂict between human and orangutans.
Indonesia’s palm oil contributes to 48% of the world share and there is no sign that the government is willing to give it up. It is indeed an uphill battle for conservationists and the likes to fight for the interests of orangutans, considering the dominance of agriculture in Indonesia.