Indonesian farmers earn more thanks to rice breeding
An Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) study looked at the impact and value of rice breeding work of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) between 1985 and 2009 in three key rice-growing countries: Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
The report mentioned that Indonesia had the highest gains in rice yields (13%) over this time of the three countries. This increase in rice yield is equivalent to an increased return of $76 per hectare - a significant benefit to Indonesia's rice farmers.
Indonesia’s rice yields are now at an all-time high of around 5.1 tons per hectare (2010), topping the world average of around 4.3 tons per hectare.
High-yielding rice varieties, fertilizers, and irrigation have contributed significantly to this yield increase and Indonesia’s overall rice production, making the country the third-largest rice producer in the world.
Indonesia first achieved rice self-sufficiency in 1984, but its self-sufficiency status has fluctuated since then, meaning that in some years it imported rice to meet local demand. Rice remains the staple food of the country with Indonesians eating on average about 125 kg of rice per year – among the highest in the world.
The Indonesian government has indicated its target is not just national rice self-sufficiency; rather, it wants to become a rice exporter.
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