TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Agriculture Ministry stated that the country has the potential to export rice during the grand harvest time on account of high demand abroad.
Head of Public Relations and Public Information Bureau of the ministry Kuntoro Boga Andri in a written statement received here on Sunday said that Indonesian rice, especially organic rice, is in demand in foreign market, with good price.
"Based on IQFAST data of the Agricultural Quarantine Agency which was collected at our export port, the demand for local rice abroad is quite large," said Andri.
He said since 2017 Indonesia had exported 2,100 tons of rice to five countries, the Netherlands, United States, Malaysia, Belgium and Bangladesh. Even Indonesia's rice exports to 14 countries, including Japan, Vietnam and Chine, in 2018 had reached a total of 1,400 tons.
Andri explained that the demand for local premium rice such as organic rice is still very large, considering the foreign market demand for Asian organic and Horeka rice is quite good. Based on data from the Agriculture Ministry, the volume of rice exports in 2020 reached 230.2 tons, and in 2019 it was 341.1 tons.
"The volume has indeed decreased slightly in 2020, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the number of export destination countries has increased to 20 worldwide. This is an opportunity that must be achieved," Andri pointed out.
The Agriculture Ministry believes the opportunities to export rice will be even greater if countries begin to open access to their ports like before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, Indonesia still has considerable potential to increase rice production as it has agricultural land and has the ability to produce rice. However, the management system still needs to be improved to make it better.
"We are sure that the opportunity to export rice to the international market will continue to open up and we will be able to meet the needs of the domestic and international markets. Minister of Agricultural Syahrul has given specific directions related to increasing the added value and exports of our agricultural products. We just need to maximize its potential," affirmed Andri.