Indonesia may import 5.4 million tonnes of raw sugar this year, more than doubling last year's figure of 2.5 million tonnes, to offset low domestic production, according to preliminary government data

Nevin Barich

Nevin Barich

Oct 22, 2013 – Vietnam News Agency

JAKARTA, Indonesia , October 22, 2013 () – Indonesia may import 5.4 million tonnes of raw sugar this year, more than doubling last year’s figure of 2.5 million tonnes, to offset the low domestic production.

The country’s sugar production may fall short of the government’s target this year, despite an increase in domestic production of sugarcane.

The Indonesian government’s preliminary data shows that the country’s sugar production is estimated to reach only 2.5 million tonnes this year, about 10.7 percent below the target set earlier this year.

Jakarta Post quoted Agriculture Minister Suswono as saying that sugarcane production has actually increased but a lower than expected recovery rate - the amount of sugar gleaned from the cane - will lead to a decline in sugar production.

According to Director General for Plantations Gamal Nasir, abnormal weather was not the only reason behind the declining sugar output.

He said that ratoon sugarcane crops planted on a total of 450,000 hectares of sugarcane field across the country are old and unproductive after having been cultivated for more than three years.

“We need to replant the ratoon crops, and to do that we need the private sector to help us as we have a limited budget,” Gamal said.

The Indonesian government has sought to replant 50,000 hectares of sugarcane this year and has appointed the Indonesian Sugarcane Plantation Research Centre (P3GI) to provide the seeds./.

(c) 2013 Viet Nam News, Vietnam News Agency

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