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Indonesia Regains Self-sufficiency in Rice Production
AFP, November 2, 2004
Indonesia has regained self-sufficiency in rice production after a decade when rapid population rises and dwindling agriculture required foreign imports to meet demand, officials said today.
Mohammad Jafar Hafsah, director general for food crop production, said output of unhusked rice in the world’s fourth most populous nation this year exceeded domestic demands for the first time since the mid- 1990s.
“The figures show that we have reached self-sufficiency again in rice production,” Hafsah told AFP.
Indonesia gained self-sufficiency in 1984 — a landmark for the country of more than 211 million people where sporadic famine remains a problem — but lost it again a decade later. Hafsah said production of unhusked rice is this year estimated to reach 54.3 million tons, nearly 2.5 percent above the targeted 53 million tons.

He said that the production, equivalent to 34 tons of husked rice, was above demand for this year of 31 million tons. It also represented a 4.2 percent rise over last year’s national output.
Hafsah told AFP that the rise in production was mainly due to expansion and optimalization of rice planting areas.
New rice fields were also created as farmers switched from other crops, while marsh rice cultivation and planting in tidal areas helped boost output. In recent months, Indonesia had imposed a ban on rice imports on the expectation of good harvests, a move that upset aid agencies trying to alleviate hunger with food donations to impoverished areas of the vast country.
MGR Archive 3.11.2004
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