TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Indonesian Bakery Association chairman Chris Hadrijaya said wheat production in Indonesia was still low, which prompted businessmen to import wheat to keep their businesses grow.
“So far, Indonesia still depends on Australia to import wheat,” said Chris on Thursday at Shangri-La Hotel in Jakarta.
Chris said lands in Indonesia were insufficient to increase wheat production, given that even rice as the nation's staple food still required more fields due to rapid industrial land conversion.
"There's not even enough space for rice, let alone wheat, which is not a primary need" he said.
Based on Bogor Institute of Agriculture’s (IPB) Tropical Horticulture Research Center, wheat imports this year reached Rp17.02 trillion. Indonesia imports mostly from Australia with 70.7 percent, Canada (14.9 percent) and the United States (11 percent). Indonesia also imports wheat from India, Russia, Pakistan and Turkey.
Previously, former State Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan said Indonesia imported 7.1 million tons of wheat from America annually. “We give too much income for American farmers,” he said.
YOLANDA RYAN ARMINDYA