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Economy, agriculture and food security
The total economically active population in 2009 was 118 million, of which 37 percent were women. The population that is economically active in agriculture is an estimated 50 million, approximately 42 percent of the economically active population. Of the population economically active in agriculture, 39 percent are women and 61 percent are men. In 2009, the gross domestic product (GDP) was US$540 274 million, with a value added in agriculture that was 16 percent of the GDP.
Wetlands play a very important role in food production, including rice and secondary crops (maize, cassava, soybean, sweet potatoes, peanut). Total harvested area of paddy in 2005 was 11.8 million ha, composed of 10.7 million ha wetland rice (91 percent) and 1.1 million ha dryland rice (9 percent). Total paddy production was 54.1 million tonnes, of which 51.3 million tonnes were wetland paddy (95 percent) and 2.8 million tonnes dryland paddy (5 percent). Productivity of dryland (rainfed) rice is just a little bit more than half of the productivity of wetland rice: 2.56 tonnes/ha against 4.78 tonnes/ha.
Though Indonesia produces a large quantity of rice, it is still a rice importer. In the past, it was the largest rice importer, reaching 1.8 million tonnes of rice in 2002. However, in 2006 import rates reduced significantly, to as little as 438 000 tonnes. Besides food crops, Indonesia is also producing a large number of perennial crops, including rubber, coconut, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, and tea, which are currently exported.
In terms of food security, national rice production is relatively safe and stable. In 2000, surprisingly, Indonesia had a rice surplus of more than 2 million tonnes (Suprapto, 2001). This surplus resulted from favourable weather, increased cropping intensity and rice planting area, and from a decline in the national per capita rice consumption. The domestic food availability has fulfilled the needs of the population; the average available calories are 2 200 kcal per capita per day.