Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Ministry of Agriculture claimed that Indonesia had achieved a rice production surplus in the October 2014 - October 2015 period because it did not import rice for public consumption during the period.

"Rice production was surplus. This is the best achievement over the past five years," Director General for Food Crops Plantation Hasil Sembiring said here on Thursday evening.

In October 2014, state logistics board Bulogs rice stock was 1.7 million tons which was reached with imports of 800 thousand tons. But in October 2015, without optimal absorption during grand harvest peak in the January - May 2015 period, Bulogs rice stock remained at 1.7 million tons, he said.

He said that the achievement was made even with an increase in the number of population by 3.7 million which consumed 460 thousand tons of rice.

"Although Indonesia was hit by strong El Nino, rice increased to 1.26 million tons from that in 2014," he said.

In 1998, with strong El Nino (1.9 percent intensity), Indonesia was forced to import 7.1 million tons of rice. At that time the number of Indonesia population was only 202 million.

But in 2015, the number of population reached 252 million with an El Nino intensity of 2.4 percent. In such a condition, Indonesia should have imported 9.0 million tons of rice but instead it had a stock of 1.3 million tons, the director general said.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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