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Amran Sulaiman: The Surplus is From Additional Planted Land
Minister of Agriculture Amran Sulaiman, conducted an inspection to check the effectiveness of the Highest Price Retail (HET) policy and the availability of rice
Friday, 26 January, 2018 | 07:54 WIB
Amran Sulaiman: The Surplus is From Additional Planted Land

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman has limited his statements as of late, He also has little to say when reporters flood him with questions about the polemic on the planned rice import due to fluctuations in national stocks. He prefers to talk about rice harvests in several provinces. Amran has concluded that more farmers enjoy good harvests compared to those whose harvests were plagued by the brown planthopper pest, which lowered production. "We have to view everything in proportion," said Amran to Tempo reporter Khairul Anam and Putri Adityowati by phone, on Friday afternoon last week. He was not able to speak in person as he had just returned from a trip abroad.

What anticipatory measures will the ministry of agriculture take if rice production decreases? 

We only look at the amount of additional land being planted, pest attacks, and some preventative measures. There has been an addition of about 400,000 hectares planted, while brown planthopper pest attacks only took place on about 40,000 hectares. We also provide insurance for rice paddies afflicted by pests and flooding.

The price of rice has gone up. Is it true that the supply is declining?

Our domain is only production. In the past we imported corn, and now we are self-sufficient. In the past we imported onions, now we export them. The price of chilies used to fluctuate widely, now it is stable. No rice was imported in 2016-2017. Some said that rice was imported in 2016, but that was import roll-off from the previous year.

Haven't 69,000 hectares of rice fields been affected by brown planthoppers as of September of last year?

Nevertheless, there is now an additional 330,000 hectares of rice fields, already taking into account the total amount of land affected by that pest,

Is that what you mean by a surplus?

Yes, You can calculate it yourself.

Read the full interview in this week's edition of Tempo English Magazine.

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