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Byline: Bambang Nurbianto, The Jakarta Post, Singapore
Appreciation of Indonesian farmers is often far less than is merited by their important role as guarantors of an adequate food supply for all Indonesian citizens.
Just take a look at the amount of subsidies given to farmers compared to the subsidies for owners of luxury cars and motorcycles. This year, the government reportedly has allocated only some Rp 13.9 trillion (US$1.47 billion) for the agricultural sector and nearly Rp 216.8 trillion for fuel subsidies.
It is due to the minimal attention paid to this sector that agricultural research and development -- as an example -- has not developed well in Indonesia. Agricultural study is a second choice for many Indonesian students.
Meanwhile, many agricultural graduates prefer to work behind a desk in urban areas rather than devoting their knowledge to helping farmers in remote areas. Many …