Jan. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Unhusked rice production in Indonesia, the third-largest consumer, may rise this year as new fields are planted and good weather helps to improve yield, the country’s agriculture minister said.
Indonesia’s 2012 rice output is expected to reach 72.02 million tons, Minister of Agriculture Suswono told reporters today at a briefing in Jakarta. Last year’s production probably fell 1.6 percent to 65.39 million tons compared with 2010, the Central Statistics Office said in its third production forecast on Nov. 1.
“We expect to add 100,000 hectares of new rice fields,” said Suswono, who uses one name. “We are optimistic to reach the target of 72 million tons because it’s said the climate will be normal.”
Rising output from Indonesia may reduce the nation’s overseas purchases of the staple. Bulog, the nation’s state food company, has been assigned to import as much as 1.9 million tons in 2011, Coordinating Minister for the Economy Hatta Rajasa said on Nov. 29.
Corn production may rise to 24 million tons this year from an estimated 17.23 million tons in 2011, Suswono said. Soybean output may rise to 1.9 million tons from a en estimated 870,070 tons last year, he said.
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