Sunday, August 9, 2009
Protection of Rice Fields
In the late '80s, the government adopted a policy which enabled local and foreign private entrepreneurs to develop and manage Industrial Estates/Zones in Indonesia.
As a result, important Rice Producing area in West Java that are located close to Jakarta i.e. Bekasi, Karawang and Cikampek, have been converted from Rice Fields into Industrial Estates/Zones and Residential Estates. From then on, Indonesia has changed from a Rice Self Sufficient country into an importer of Rice.
Statistics of the National Land Agency (BPN) shows that there are around 7,8 million hectares of irrigated Rice fields in Indonesia, but they are being rapidly swallowed up by property developments at a rate of more than 140,000 hectares a year.
And according to the Department of Agriculture the population has been growing by about 1.6% per year, putting significant strains on food resources.
In order to anticipate more problems in the future, the government and the National Parliament (DPR) are now preparing a Bill to protect Rice Fields from those Developers of Industrial and Residential estates.
But unfortunately, the said Bill is only intended for Rice Fields located in the country sides, but not for those located in towns/cities.
Whereas according to Profesor Hermanto Siregar of the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB) conversion of Rice Fields in Towns/Cities reached around 2,5 Hectare a year. So if average productivity of Rice is 4,88 Ton per Hectare this means that there will be a decrease in Rice production of 12,2 million Ton.
For details on the above, please click here and here.
Considering the above facts, I hope that the Government and DPR will prepare the Bill based on the best interests of our country and people, that is to be Rice Self Sufficient once again.