Agriculture Minister Suswono stated here on Wednesday that based on data available at the Meteorology, Geophysics and Climatology Agency (BMKG), the September rains would enable farmers to plant rice seedlings, the yield of which could be included in the 2012 figures.
"We have to optimize rice plantation in September because a number of regions have not yet reached their targets," he said at a meeting discussing the plan to produce a surplus of 10 million tonnes of rice by 2014.
The minister noted that the dry season started late in May rather than April this year. "Therefore, the rainy season might also start in October instead of September," he added.
"By planting rice earlier in September, it is expected that the Central Bureau of Statistics projection of a 4.31 percent increase in rice production could be achieved," Suswono explained.
"Harvesting has begun in some areas. Therefore, if rice plantation could be accelerated in September, the extra yield could be added to the 2012 production figures," he pointed out.
The government has set itself a target of producing 67.82 million tonnes of dry rice, 24 million tonnes of maize and 1.9 million tonnes of soybean this year.