November 13, 2008

Indonesia expected to be independent in corn production


President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has announced on Wednesday (November 12) that he expected Indonesia to be self-sufficient in corn this year, if nothing intervenes.


The head of state said in order to make the country self-sufficient in food, the government was continuing to provide farmers with sufficient land for rice planting, watering facilities, high-yield variety seeds, subsidised fertiliser, and agricultural extension. To prevent national development activities from using up all available land, the government is also building agricultural infrastructure facilities, including irrigation works.

As Indonesia's corn growing productivity is low, there is scope for inflowing investment to continue raising crop yields. Moreover there is an upturn in feed demand, so corn supplies need to keep pace for  the forseeable future. The agriculture minister has earlier said that corn harvest will be expanded by 12 percent for 2008.

Yudhoyono said that the global food situation is not safe enough so Indonesia should be able to meet its own food needs and if the country has more than it needs, it can help neighbouring countries. Trade would be improved if they do not import rice as the uncertain world food situation has caused food prices to soar.


He said government subsidies in the agricultural sector had also continued to rise from year to year, namely from IDR9 trillion in 2005 to IDR29 trillion in 2008, with the figure for 2009 predicted to rise by IDR33 trillion.


Fertiliser subsidy alone rose from IDR2.5 trillion in 2005 to IDR3 trillion in 2006, IDR15 trillion in 2008, and was expected to total IDR17 trillion in 2008.


US$1=IDR12.046 as of November 19, 2008

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