Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Simalungun Regency—At a Glance

No. 07/VII/Oct 17 - 23, 2006
Tempo Magazine, Across the Archipelago

SIMALUNGUN Regency is the second largest (after Deli Serdang) rice bowl in North Sumatra province. Aside from rice, the region is also the largest producer of secondary crops, such as corn, cassava and peanuts. Understandably, agriculture is the main economic activity in this area populated by 830,000 people.

Of the region’s Rp4.2 trillion in 2001, 62 percent came from agriculture, followed by plantation products. The main plantation commodity of palm oil is the second largest—500,000 tons in 2001—producer of people’s plantation in North Sumatra, after Labuhan Batu regency. Cocoa and rubber are the other major products of Simalungun.

With 80 percent of the population involved in agriculture, the Simalungun local administration is focusing on the integrated development of agriculture, plantations and tourism. It has allocated 200 hectares at Tapian Dolok subdistrict to become the Simalungun Industrial Zone, formerly the site of PT Good Year Sumatra Plantation.

Like other regencies in North Sumatra with agriculture and plantations as their economic base, the food and plantation product processing industry is being accelerated. The Simalungun local government plans to concentrate on the development of its agro-industry, agribusiness and agro-tourism sectors. The town of Parapat is often recommended in tourist guidebooks as a place to visit when in Simalungun.

Although the quality of its workforce is generally considered to be good, its distribution is uneven. Additionally, the infrastructure throughout the regency is in very poor condition. The KPPOD survey places Simalungun as number 124 among 168 regencies surveyed for its economic competitiveness. GDP per capita in 2004 was Rp6,869,688.


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