Indonesian Agriculture Minister Anton Apriyantono has said China's two-prong technology and policy approach to maintaining domestic rice stocks had inspired him to introduce new rice production policies, local press reported Wednesday.
Having returned from a recent visit to China, Anton said he would intensively expand information sharing between researchers, seed producers and farmers in Indonesia.
During the trip, Anton observed China's hybrid-seed development program. He said he was really impressed that China could now produce between 12 and 13 tons of rice per hectare.
"The government of China encourages hybrid-seed development with research and financial support. It is interesting to see that a research agency there can disseminate its research findings directly to farmers and world agencies, thus allowing China to respond quickly to ever-changing needs," Anton was quoted by English daily The Jakarta Post as saying.
Anton said his ministry would enhance domestic research into hybrid seeds. He acknowledged that in Indonesia there were not enough links between researchers and the end-users of their research findings.
"You may be surprised to hear that some domestic seed companies have been exporting seeds to various countries, while our farmers have been importing the same kinds of seeds. We are strangers to each other," said Anton.
The Agriculture Ministry also planned to encourage the private sector to conduct more research into rice seeds.
He said the ministry would issue a special permit for the importation of seeds into Indonesia for research purposes.
"After the two-year period, they should be able to produce their own seeds -- ones that are suitable for domestic use. This is meant to build up our own resources, so that we are not dependent on imports," he said.