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1 Million Ton of Indonesian Rice Surplus in 2007

03/23/08 00:03

RI actually already self-sufficient in rice : official

Banjarnegara, C Java (ANTARA News) - Indonesia is now self-sufficient in rice as in 2007 it enjoyed a rice production surplus of over one million tons, an agriculture ministry official said.

"Having a surplus of more than one million tons from the 2007 rice harvest, Indonesia now can be categorized as a country self-sufficient in rice," the ministry`s director general of food crop plantation affairs, Sutarto Alimoeso, said here Saturday.

In this context, the national 2008 paddy production was expected to reach 61 million tons or five percent over the 2007 figure, he said.

Thus, he expressed optimism that the government would no longer conduct rice import this year because with last year`s rice procurement drive, Indonesia now had more than one million tons in stock.

Apart from that the National Logistics Agency (Bulog) now had the capacity to buy 1.6 milllion tons of farmers` rice.

"We hope Bulog will be able to absorb more farmers` rice if it works well," he said, hoping that through the 2008 procurement or collecting effort, Indonesia would have some 2 million tons of rice.

Referring to the increased food prices, Sutarto said farmers should be informed about the matter so they would be motivated to increase their production.

In addition, Media Indonesia daily in its headlines Saturday said world rice prices had continued to increase up to US$700 per ton, the highest level in the last 20 years.

The high price would threaten Asia, including Indonesia and other developing countries whose population of more than 2.5 billion depend on rice as their daily food, the daily said.