Rice is a staple food for all classes in contemporary Indonesia, it plays a main role in Indonesian culture and Indonesian cuisine. it shapes the landscape; is sold at markets; and is served in most meals both as a Savoyard and sweet food. Rice is the most common food for every household in Indonesia.

Indonesia rice food

1.Indonesia–A rice producer as well as a rice importer.

As refers to the total rice production, Indonesia ranks the 3rd in the world but has also been the world’s 7th largest rice importer over the past 5 years – on average requiring over 1.1 million tons of imports per year. The figure below shows the production of rice and the import and export condition of rice in Indonesia:

Rice Production in Indonesia

Rice Production of Rice in Indonesia

Rice import and export in Indonesia

Rice import and export in Indonesia

As we can see from the above charts that though rice production is increasing year by year in Indonesia, their rice imports are also on the rise. So some people may wonder about why one of the world’s leading rice producers rely on imported rice to meet the local people’s demand for rice?
In fact, Indonesia has the largest per capita rice consumption in the world with Indonesians consuming around 140 kilograms of rice per person per year. On the one hand, the ever-growing of its population with 26.2millon till 2016 which means more demand for food. On the other hand, the lack of advanced modern technology and high-tech equipment in agriculture undoubtedly provides some resistance to rice supply in Indonesia.

Indonesia Population Growth

Indonesia Population Growth

2. The government has taken measures to achieve self-sufficiency for rice.

The government has played a key role in achieving self-sufficiency in rice. In order to achieve the self-sufficiency of rice, the Indonesian government has taken some effective measures. The Indonesian government uses two approaches on both ends of the chain to reach rice self-sufficiency. On the one hand, it encourages farmers to increase their production by stimulating technological innovation like introducing modern farming equipment, such as Large Combine Rice Harvester and Medium Rice Combine Harvester for rice harvesting, and by providing advanced post-harvesting machines for rice, like 100T/D Automatic Rice Mill Production Line and MNTL Series Verticle Rice Milling Machine, and on the other hand, by promoting the concept such as “one day without rice” (per week) aims to curb people’s rice consumption while promoting consumption of other staple foods. Though the government is trying to change the habit of eating rice each day, the effectiveness of the two approaches is not particularly significant yet as production figures grow modestly while most Indonesians refuse to give up rice for other food products.
Nevertheless, the Indonesian government still did not give up to achieve self-sufficiency in rice. The Indonesian government announced that it plans to allocate more state funds, generated by reducing the country’s fuel subsidies, to the development of infrastructure in the agricultural sector in 2015. Under the plan, which is part of state efforts to attain rice self-sufficiency by 2017, three million hectares of irrigation facilities are to be repaired within the period 2015-2018. In addition, the government also takes measurements on the rehabilitation of other water management infrastructure, as well as the distribution of seeds, fertilizers, and agricultural machinery.

3.Suggestions for Indonesia to achieve the self-sufficiency of rice.

rice field in Indonesia

There are many factors for restricting rice development in Indonesia.

Effective measurements should be taken with a continuous growth for the population

As Indonesia’s population continues to grow, thus implying more mouths to feed in the future, the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), as well as several big Indonesian businesses, have begun partnership programs with smallholder rice farmers with the aim of increasing rice production through the use of new technologies, like some big modern rice milling processing plant and innovative financing programs.

Modern agricultural equipment and advanced post-harvesting technology should be introduced.

As I have mentioned in the above paragraph, the lack of advanced modern technology and high-tech equipment in agriculture which provides some resistance to rice supply in Indonesia. Modern farming tools like Three-row Reaper Binder and Complete Set Rice Milling Machine should be introduced for planting through post-harvesting, for it can not only increase agricultural production but also increase the farmer’s income.

Increase irrigation equipment repair technology and financial support.

A lack of financial and technical management skills to align maintenance requirements for irrigation infrastructure, development, and repair. Effective operation and maintenance of irrigation schemes are highly dependent on rice farmers. At the same time, the farmers’ ability to pay the repair cost is directly linked to their ability to increase production through their efficient use of irrigation water. When properly managed, will greatly improve rice production in Indonesia.

These are the main factors limiting rice production in Indonesia. There are also many other factors, such as the climate changes that lead to changes in soil structure; rice varieties are single and etc. But in a word, to achieve self-supply for rice in Indonesia that can not be solved immediately, it needs strong support from government as well as the active cooperation of local farmers.