INDONESIA

 
Published: Thursday 15 October 1998

Profitable venture (Credit: WWF)The devaluation of Indonesian currency in the international market has come as a boom to the farmers. Due to the devaluation of the rupiah, the US dollar based exports have become more valuable. Traditional crops like coffee, black pepper, rice and sugar are all selling from three to 10 times higher than they were a year ago in local currency on the international market. As a result, a lively open air market has come up in hilly southern Sumatra town of Talang Padang, selling products ranging from sides of beef and hand woven straw mats to a bottle of Charlie perfume. There are other pockets of economic prosperity too in Indonesia's rural areas. It is reported that PT Astra International is starting production of its popular Kijang sport utility vehicle largely because of a renewed demand from the farmer.

"The cash farmers are spending is helping boost the economy. It isn't going to solve Indonesia's national financial crisis, but it is a start," says economist Bill Belchere of Singapore. "The cash farmers are spending is helping boost the economy. It isn't going to solve Indonesia's national financial crisis, but it is a start," says economist Bill Belchere of Singapore.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.