Published: Tuesday 15 August 1995

-- A downturn in rice production has caused a scare in Indonesia. As the country celebFates the 50th anniversary of its independence, a prolonged drought and a marauding pest called the 'brown hopper' are forcing the country to import rice for the third time in 5 years. The major debate now on in the country is whether it is worthwhile at all to set aside huge areas for rice cultivation. According to Soedodo Hardjoamidjojo, an economist at the prestigious Bogor Institute of Agriculture, Indonesia can only sustain its self-sufficiency in rice by creating an additional 114,000 ht of new rice fields every year. Also, much will depend on how quickly Indonesia can effect changes in the national diet. Rice consumption is increasing by about 500,000 tonnes annually and the process of transition to other cereals has slowed down.

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.