The Central Agency on Statistics of Indonesia (BPS) announced that the country faced the risk of decreased rice output for this year and 2015.

According to BPS, this year’s rice production is forecast to decline by 0.94 percent, or 670,000 tonnes, compared to the same period last year due to droughts and floods in a number of cultivation areas, such as Java, Sumatra, and western Nusa Tenggara.

In contrast, BPS predicts that other crops could see an increase in productivity of up to 3.33 percent, with a corn output of 19.13 million tonnes and a soybean output of 921,340 tonnes.

Acting Manager of the Cultivation Department under the Ministry of Agriculture, Haryono, said the ministry had undertaken efforts to deal with extreme weather events and phenomena like El Nino.

However, BPS noted that a decline in rice production could have an effect on rice supply, resulting in price increases.
Indonesia has a population of 250 million, and consumes 137kg of rice per capita per year. It is considered one of the world’s biggest rice consumers.

Statistics also show that rice accounted for 0.03 percent of the 0.47 percent increase in inflation in October 2014.

The newly inaugurated Minister of Agriculture, Amran Sulaiman, announced a set of national targets and measures to increase food production, including rice, corn, and soybeans, in a bid to become self-sufficient within the next 3-4 years.-VNA