Indonesia may import up to 600,000 tonnes of rice in 2013, depending on the size of domestic rice stocks and domestic rice prices, according to the CEO of Indonesian rice buying agency, Bulog.

Rice is the main staple for many of Indonesia ’s more than 240 million people, with per capita consumption at up to 139 kilogrammes.

Meanwhile, the Jakarta Globe reported that a group of Malaysian and Chinese investors are looking to invest as much as 2 billion USD in Indonesia ’s rice production in the next seven years, aiming to take full advantage of Indonesian consumers’ growing purchasing power.

Ratu Indah Mandiri, a joint venture between Malaysian and Chinese investors said that their company is seeking a 50,000-hectare trial plot of land in either Java or Kalimantan province. It plans to invest for one million hectares on rice plantations in the seven-year period.

Ratu Indah’s president commissioner Norah Abd Rahman said that her company will work with Tri Indah Mandiri, a local company, after a signing of memorandum of understanding in Jakarta on July 5.

Under the deal, Ratu Indah will supply downstream technology and processing capabilities, while Tri Indah will take care of local operations, including working with local farmers in producing rice.-VNA