Hence, rice imports in 2013 should come to an end, said Fadli Zon, a spokesperson for the Indonesian Farmers Association (HKTI), on Tuesday.
"The current policy on rice imports should be eradicated because Indonesia is an agrarian country, which is keen to increase the production of rice by 10 million tonnes every year," Fadli said.
The Agriculture Ministry is keen to increase the production of rice by 39 million tonnes. The public will consume 35 million tonnes of rice, and there will be a surplus of 5 million tonnes of rice.
"With a surplus of 5 million tonnes, import of rice is not necessary. If rice imports are not stopped, they will be detrimental to farmers, who work hard to improve the nation`s food security," Fadli said.
He said if rice imports cannot be stopped, the price of rice will increase.
Therefore, he has requested the government to review its rice import policy. He hopes that the government will work closely with the Ministry of Agriculture, the State Logistics Agency (Bulog), and related stakeholders to come up with an appropriate policy.
Fadli made this statement after Bulog's President Director, Sutarso Alimoeso, said the government is planning to import 670 thousand tonnes of rice in 2013.