Efforts by Indonesia to avoid food shortages by increasing its rice production have received an important boost with the signing of a new agreement to help the nation's millions of poor rice farmers with new technologies.
Senior officials and scientists of the Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development (IAARD), and other agencies of the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture, signed the three-year agreement with the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) on March 23 in Jakarta.
The world's largest Muslim nation, Indonesia has been struggling for several years to increase its rice production. Shortages could trigger price rises, possibly sparking protests and unrest.
"It will be very challenging to lift Indonesian rice production to the levels requested by the government," IRRI's deputy director general for research, Ren Wang, said in Jakarta. The Indonesian government has indicated it wants to see an additional 2 million tons of rice produced in 2007 and 5 percent growth in national rice production each year after that.
"With world rice production growing at less than 2 percent annually, it's increasingly difficult for countries such as Indonesia to boost production beyond 2 to 3 percent," Dr. Wang explained.
But with international rice prices at a ten-year high – after doubling in the past two years – and world rice reserves slumping to a 30-year low, there is enormous pressure on rice-importing countries such as Indonesia to try to achieve self-sufficiency. Dr. Wang said that such gains had been achieved before, noting that Indonesia achieved self-sufficiency in rice in 1984.
Between 1955 and 1965, Indonesia had the lowest rate of growth in rice yields (0.2 percent per year) and rice production (1.2 percent) of any major rice producer in Asia. However, between 1965 and 1985, it had the highest rates of growth (4.1 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively), with a dramatic spurt of 7.2 percent annual growth of output between 1977 and 1984.
Rice production in Indonesia grew by nearly two and a half times between 1968 and 1989, from less than 12 to over 29 million metric tons. Most of this expansion occurred during the second of these two decades, when average rice yields increased from 2.8 to 4.2 tons per hectare.
The area planted to rice expanded by only about 1 million hectares during each decade, so most of the output gain was attributed to intensive increases in productivity rather than to extensive expansion of rice land. "These gains show very clearly what can be achieved with the right rice policies in place to encourage the growth of rice output," Dr. Wang said.
"Because of the importance of Indonesia as the world's fifth largest nation and its vital strategic role in Asia, it's crucial that its rice sector continue to develop and move ahead," he emphasized. "We all need to work together to channel the latest technologies to Indonesian rice farmers to help them reach the goals set by the government – if we fail, the price could be very high indeed."
The new agreement between Indonesia and IRRI focuses on three key areas: support for the Indonesian government's Rice Production Increase Program, collaborative research, and human resource development.
Support efforts will include the development of improved rice varieties with high yield potential, grain quality, and resistance to pests; the development of a national strategy and framework for hybrid rice; and the development of improved rice varieties that can tolerate submergence, drought, and low-temperature damage in high-elevation areas.
Collaborative research will include the strengthening of research capacity for the development and safe use of transgenic rice in Indonesia, improving grain quality and the nutritional value of rice using functional genomics and molecular breeding, and special emphasis on drought, disease resistance, and poor soils.
Capacity building will focus on postgraduate degree training, on-the-job or intern training, scientist exchange, short courses, and in-country training.
Duncan Macintosh | EurekAlert!
Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München
Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences