Let Farmers be The Judge

Are farmers in Indonesia a happy lot?

In the past few years, Heyokha team has been traveling to many provinces in Indonesia to meet and talk to people from different walk of life. One group that represents a stand out is farmers.

We believe that the farmers’ good mood has something to do with commitment and efforts by the government to deliver a tangible reform in the agri sector. Following similar steps previously taken by Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China, Indonesia is currently in the beginning of a long agri reform agenda to lift “small long-forgotten people” out from poverty and towards achieving food self-sufficiency.

Just like any new initiative, you are bound to get criticism from skeptics. Each initiative will have pros and cons. We are not here to debate what works best. There is no perfect solution. Instead, we think it is more meaningful to let the farmers be the judge.

A new survey by a credible political think tank CSIS has some interesting findings.

Of course, the most important finding from the survey is that President Jokowi electability rating went up by 9 percentage points from 41.9% in 2016 to 50.9% in 2017.


Source: CSIS survey in September 2017

Overall public satisfaction is also moving up to 68.3%, the highest ever since President Jokowi took office.

Other than the main obvious findings, one area that we would like to focus on is the fact that President Jokowi has the highest approval rating among farmers across all occupational categories.

Support from farmers is gaining ground, even stronger than the finding from the similar survey in Sept 2016.


Source: CSIS survey in September 2017

It must be recognised that the government reform program is not without its shortcomings. Overall, however, this high approval rate from farmer confirms our on the ground observation that farmers are indeed a happy lot.

If the government is announcing big reforms in agriculture, but the farmers were not seeing the results, you can bet they wouldn’t be happy about it. Pure and simple.

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About Our Blog

This blog covers obser-vations made by our team. It can touch on any subject that we deem relevant for investors in Asean markets.