With millions of hectares of arable land across over 17,000 islands, Indonesia’s agriculture sector has long been an integral part of the economy. While its contribution to GDP may have declined in recent years – a result of economic diversification – it remains hugely important, employing roughly one-third of the workforce. Although major companies dominate the industry from a revenue standpoint, small-scale farmers who often operating in hard-to-reach rural areas comprise the backbone of the sector.
Infrastructure issues are a hindrance to agricultural growth, but the re-election of President Joko Widodo in 2019 is expected to lead to continued focus on overcoming the issue and contribute to improved nationwide connectivity. In the meantime, technological advancements, often driven by entrepreneurs looking to fill market gaps, are presenting solutions to challenges that Indonesia’s farmers have faced for decades, which include a lack of access to the advanced technologies that could make operations more financially viable.
This chapter contains an interview with Kiwi Aliwarga, Founder and Executive Chairman, UMG Idealab.