The agricultural sector is one of the most crucial aspects for the survival of a country. A country’s stability is highly dependent on the sector and without food, the country could be in a position of chaos and bankruptcy.
Indonesia is the top exporter of palm oil in the world and according to data from 2020, rice occupies the second spot, ranking behind palm oil. So, to boost domestic rice production, the government of Indonesia employs multiple strategies. One of those is limiting rice imports, but this policy reaps a lot of cons for an agricultural-oriented country like Indonesia.
Indonesia was a substantial rice importer and in 2018, it imported rice to the tune of 2.25 million tonnes. The country continued to import rice up until now but that is expected to change as Indonesia has discontinued rice imports as a form of trade protection to boost domestic rice production.
Stepping Into The Rice Export Trade
Asia contributes to 80 percent of the global rice trade. Indonesia being an Asian nation is looking to tap into rice exports and skim the collective profits.
Moreover, the global grain trade is experiencing major disruptions due to the Rusia-Ukraine crisis and the policies of major rice exporting countries that have closed the export door to ensure adequate domestic stocks.
Owing to favorable conditions like these, Indonesia is attempting to become a rice exporting country. As stated by Airlangga Hartarto, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, “Indonesia will export 200,000 tonnes of rice due to the potential rice production of more than 7 million tonnes. However, the country of destination for Rice Exports is not mentioned.”
On August 14, 2022, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) organization presented Indonesia with the Food Self-Sufficiency Award as a result of
Indonesia’s accomplishment in sustaining national food security, particularly in staple rice. This could be regarded as a positive development in Indonesia’s path to achieving the ‘rice-exporter’ tag.
In addition to Indonesia’s decision to curb rice imports, it should also begin to show its seriousness in its efforts to procure land for agriculture, given the fact that in the current era a lot of agricultural land in Indonesia has been converted into industrial areas, housing, and even offices. The acquisition of more land for the agricultural sector will certainly affect the quantity of rice that can be produced by the Asian country.
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