"Some time ago, the agriculture minister of Malaysia had met me and expressed interest to import rice from Indonesia," Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman noted here on Thursday.
The minister made the statement after delivering a speech in the framework of the 41st anniversary of the University of Sebelas Maret based on the theme "The Role of Agriculture and Animal Resources in Support of National Food Security."
He remarked that Malaysia will still possibly increase its imports of Indonesian rice from the figures mentioned earlier.
He pointed out that Indonesia is now considered to be successful in achieving food self-sufficiency, especially after the launch of the rice cultivation program in the border regions due to which the country has not imported rice since last year.
Especially with regard to the exports to Malaysia, the rice to be shipped soon is the Raja Unca type sourced from Pontianak in West Kalimantan, he revealed.
"The bottom line is that we have been able to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production, and this has been known by several countries, including by the Food and Agriculture Organization," he stated.
In addition to exporting rice to Malaysia, Indonesia had exported rice to Papua New Guinea, which was shipped from Papua Province.
Sulaiman noted that the government will continue to make efforts to maintain self-sufficiency, so that by the year 2045, it could become the worlds breadbasket.
Involvement of academics and students in advancing agriculture in the entire region is necessary to achieve this goal, the minister remarked.
"The president had also ordered and called on academics and students to get involved," Sulaiman pointed out.
He said the rice stock now reaches 1.9 million tons and is sufficient to meet the publics need during the fasting month of Ramadan.
The stocks will continue to grow, so that the demand for rice can be met during Ramadan.
The government will continue to maintain the stability in prices and the stocks of rice and other commodities, so that their prices will not increase.(*)