The price of rice in several Indonesian regions has risen by between 17 to 23 percent to IDR 8,500-9,000 per kilogram as rice production at the start of the year has not been able to meet rice demand. In January 2015, Indonesian rice production stood at 2 million tons, whereas demand reached 2.5 million tons. Inflation of rice is a sensitive issue in Indonesia because it jeopardizes declining poverty rates as poorer segments of Indonesian society spend over half of their total disposable income on food items, primarily rice.
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Often the lack of quality and quantity of infrastructure in Indonesia has been cited as a reason for limited economic growth. Lack of adequate infrastructure causes the country's logistics costs to rise steeply, thus reducing competitiveness and attractiveness of the investment climate. Also in the country’s natural resources sector Indonesia’s infrastructure problems hamper development. For instance, the lack of quality irrigation to supply ample quantities of water to rice basins causes rice production to be far from optimal.
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Corn is among the four strategic commodities that receive special attention in the blueprint of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). The AEC’s food blueprint aims to enhance food security & sovereignty of corn, rice, soybeans and cassava in the ASEAN region. Indonesia is currently the region’s largest corn producer. However, Indonesian corn consumption continues to outpace domestic corn production, resulting in a deficit. This column provides an overview of Indonesia’s corn sector in the context of the AEC.
Head of Statistics Indonesia (BPS) Suryamin announced on Tuesday (01/07) that the number of poor people in Indonesia declined slightly to 28.28 million people (or 11.25 percent of the total population) in March 2014, from 28.60 million (11.46 percent of the total population) in September 2013. However, compared to March last year, poverty has increased by 110,000 people due to high inflation and a slowing economy; economic growth slowed to 5.78 percent in 2013 and this decline continued to 5.21 percent in the first quarter of 2014.
With fertile soils and supportive climatic conditions, production of horticultural products (such as fruits, vegetables, or herbal medicines), should be thriving in Indonesia. In reality, however, Indonesia's horticultural production has not been able to meet domestic demand of Indonesia. Various factors lay behind this situation. But in essence it comes down to a lack of productive farmers, while demand has risen steadily. In this given situation, horticultural products should be imported. If not, prices will rise significantly.
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