Irrigated field in Indonesia. (Photo courtesy World Bank, Creative Commons)
Shortly after warning that climate change is having a negative impact on his country’s food production, Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono expressed concern on August 16 about the impact of corruption on Indonesia’s future economic success.
Addressing the Indonesian Parliament, Yudhoyono stated that “there are still many perpetrators of corruption even in the government, parliament, regional representatives and among law enforcers.”
During a Ministry of Agriculture meeting earlier in the month, Yudhoyono stressed that global food price increases due to climate change and drought is a serious risk Indonesia must address.
These challenges certainly are not isolated. Private sector innovation and business growth can help Indonesia produce and distribute food more efficiently. However, investments in the food sector, both international and domestic, are sensitive to Indonesia’s degree of corruption.
During recent decades, Indonesia’s reduction in corruption has not been steady, shifting between improving and declining several times during the last 15 years as measured by the GAIN Index. It is also Indonesia’s most serious governance problem; political stability, non-violence, basic freedoms and democratic rights have shown more consistent improvement.