MAKASSAR, NNC - Suppressing imports and strengthening exports in the domestic agricultural sector seems like a pipe dream, in fact rice is still imported amounting to 500,000 tons. However, regarding the data on rice imports, Minister of Agriculture Amran Sulaiman dismissed it.
Through one of the national news websites he claimed in the last two years there was no import. "In 2016 we agreed there is no import, in 2017 absence of import means self-sufficiency," he said on Sunday (2/18/2018).
Switching from rice to corn, the minister said that in February 2018, the country exported up to four million tons of corn, among others to neighboring Philippines and Malaysia.
"We have met with the Philippine Minister of Agriculture and the signing will be in front of the President of Indonesia and President Duterte in the Philippines is ready for the need of one ton of corn, Malaysia four million tons," said Minister Amran, when met with news media and NNC at the Clarion Hotel, Makassar, South Sulawesi, Wednesday (2/14).
According to him, with the harvest and ability to export by up to million tons of corn it is a golden opportunity for Indonesian farmers. Moreover, the plants were grown at the border so that the cost of transport is cheap. "For decades we imported suddenly now we export with a value that is not small, thus we save foreign exchange proceeds," said Amran.
"In the past we imported 3.6 million tons of corn equivalent to IDR10 trillion, we directly turned it into export meaning that we are capable of not only self-sufficiency but exports."