Karawang, W Java (ANTARA News) - Indonesias rice production cost is the highest in Asia, the Indonesian Association of Farmers and Fishermen (KTNA) has said.

KTNA chairman Winarno Tohir said here on Thursday based on data at the International Rice Research Institute, Indonesias rice production cost in 2016-2017 is more expensive than the cost paid by farmers in Thailand, Vietnam, India and China.

"Rice production cost in Indonesia is 2.5 times higher than in Vietnam," Winarno said on the sidelines of a seminar on "boosting paddy productivity" in PT Pupuk Kujang, Cikampek, Karawang.

Paddy production cost in Indonesia is Rp4,079 per kilogram much higher than only Rp1,619 per kilogram in Vietnam, Rp2,291 in Thailand, Rp2,306 in India and Rp3,661 in China.

Winarno said the government needs to seriously address the problem over the high production cost.

"If Indonesia could not cut the production cost, the domestic market could be flooded with imported rice," he said.

Vietnamese rice once flooded the domestic market legally and illegally as Vietnamese rice is much cheaper, he said.

Indonesian farmers need to be taught modern farming which is effective and efficient, he said.

Based on a research by KTNA, the factors causing the high production cost in rice farming in Indonesia was related to the use pesticides and irrigation system.

The farmers should not stop the common practice of excessive watering of rice fields, he said, citing, in Japan, rice fields use only little water.

"Inundating rice field with too much water cost much especially in dry season. Pumping water to rice field cost money," he said.

Another cause of the high production cost is the use of chemicals to eradicate pests, he said.

Winarno suggested the use of refugia technology to eradicate pests by growing colorful flowers to attract predators and pests in the rice field.


Editor: Suryanto
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