Indonesia: Jokowi restricts corn import to 1m ton to encourage local farming productivity

President Jokowi Widodo said the new policy will encourage corn farmers to increase their production yield.

Picture for representation
Picture for representation Reuters

Over the weekend, Indonesian government announced that it will impose a prohibition on corn imports for the year. The move, mooted by President Jokowi Widodo, said it will be aimed to encourage corn farmers to increase their production yield.

The government policy is expected to help Indonesia reduce its corn imports to 900,000 tons from the 3.6 million in the last year. "With the instructions, farmers have been pushed to produce more corn because it will yield good profit," Jokowi said in a statement.

He said the move was initiated after he recalled grouses from farmers, who felt the brunt of corn imports which lowered prices of corn between Rp1,500 and Rp17,000 per kilogram (KG).

Jokowi said setting the corn floor price at Rp2,700 per KG through a presidential instruction would also encourage productivity amongst farmers, Jakarta Post reported.

In January, the West Nusa Tenggara administration targeted to harvest 2.5 million metric ton of corn for the year, in line with the expansion of 400,000 hectares of a corn field in the province. The target was set by the Agriculture Ministry.

The West Nusa Tenggara agriculture agency head Husnul Fauzi was quoted by Jakarta Post saying that the target would transform the province into the national corn center.

In 2016, 1.1 million ton of corn was harvested from 217,000 hectares of cornfields -- a growing number compared to 112.000 hectares of fields and 780,000 ton of harvested corn in 2015.

The land expansion is expected to be sponsored by the government free seeds and fertilizers will be distributed by the government.