Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Weather Anomaly Disturbs Corn Production

Indonesian Feedmills Association (GPMT) preedicted volume of national corn production this year to reach 17.93 million tons of dried corn or down 2.39% from 18.36 million tons of dried corn in 2010. The decline in production is as a result of weather anomaly happening in some national corn production centers, such as in Gorontalo, South Sulawesi, East Java, and West Java.

Chairman of Indonesian Feedmills Association (GPMT), Sudirman, said that weather anomaly that happens in some corn production centers has caused slight decline in volume of production. Although the government has taken various attempts, like enhanceement of productivity, expansion of planting area, and attempts to secure production, extreme weather has caused production output unoptimal. "Weather anommaly affects corn growth because it causes the appearrance of organisms harmful to plants", he explained.

Sudirman said that due to decline in producction, feedmillers are forced to import corn to fulfill doomestic demand. Based on records of GPMT, feed connsumption in 2010 reaches 9.7 million tons, and will rise to 10.3 million tons in 2011. From that amount, 50% is corn consumption. It means that corn is the main component of feed.

Feedmillers are forced to import corn as there is a deficit in national corn production due to weather anomaly. In line with the rise in feed consumption, volume of feed import in 2011 is predicted to rise. In 2010, corn import for feed nationally reaches 1.5 million tons. This number constantly rises every year, although in 2009 the number only reaches 400,000 tons. "There is a very significant rise in corn import in 2010,or by 275%", Sudirman said.

Sudirman explained that a majority of Indoneesia's corn import comes from the United States, Braazil, Argentina, South Africa, and India. Considering the significant dependence of feedmill industries on corn import, GPMT asked the government to remove import duty for import of corn from 5% to 0%. The aim of import duty removal is to make the national feed products competitive.

According to Sudirman, the government should pay attention to welfare of cattle farmers. Some of the raw materials are not produced in Indoonesia, so that import of these raw materials should be exempted from import duty. "We are committed to use national corn products. But, when domestic supply is insufficient, feed millers are forced to import corn. Import duty is not an instrument to increase state revenue, but to protect national industries", he said.

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