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RI to face big challenge in effort to increase rice production
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia will face a big challenge in its efforts to increase its annual rice production by two million tons, Deputy Director General of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Ren Wang said.

"It will be a big challenge for Indonesia to reach the figure because globally the growth of rice output is declining," Wang said during a meeting between IRRI representatives and Indonesian rice researchers here on Thursday.

He said at present the growth of rice production in the world was less than two percent. The global world rice production in the 1970-1990 period reached 2.68 percent annually but in the 1990-2004 priod, the growth only reached 1.17 percent.

But he said that there were several countries which experienced an increase in rice output such as Myanmar. Myanmar was able to raise its rice production because it could empower its rain-fed paddy fields.

Indonesia could also raise its rice output by using the same system (the cultivation of rain-fed paddy fields) because it would be difficult for it to maximize the production of its irrigated rice field system.

The National Rice Council (DBN) recently also expressed its doubt that the Indonesian goverment would be able to increase its unhulled rice production by 3.5 million tons to 58.17 million tons in 2007.

Advisory Board Chairman of DBN Agung Laksono said that the government needed to make a breakthrough in order to achieve 58.17 million tons of unhulled rice as announced by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono last January.

"The government could not achieve its target to produce 58.17 million tons of unhusked rice, or an increase by two million tons of rice equivalent unless it makes intensive efforts," Agung said at a DBN meeting which discussed the national rice situation.

Wang said that from 2003 to 2005 Indonesia was able to produce 53 million tons of rice annually. But this amount was still smaller than that produced by China which reached 175 million tons.

He said that based on the Food and Agriculural Organization (FAO), Indonesia was the sixth biggest rice consumer country which a per capita rice consumption of 128 kg per annum.(*)
MGR Archive 23.3.2007
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Russia Rapan $ 700
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