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15.12.2009 Business & Finance

Indonesia to limit rice exports as global price may rise

By gna

JAKARTA, Dec. 15 (Xinhua/GNA) -- The Indonesian government will control the exports of rice, the country's staple food, next year to maintain sufficient domestic supply as the global prices of the commodity are expected to surge next year, a vice minister said here Tuesday.

Vice Agriculture Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi said Indonesia will limit overseas sales of the commodity, and provide funds at the state budget to stabilize the domestic prices.

"We will minimize the trade, including exports and imports," he told a press conference at the Vice Presidential office here.

As a step to stabilize the prices, the government will sell the commodity to low-incomers with lower prices.

The government has a policy that only premium type of rice may be exported, Krisnamurthi said.

The global economic recovery is forecast to lead to an increasing demand on rice from emerging markets, including Indonesia.

Indonesia, with over 230 million population, most of them living in agricultural sector, has an abundance of natural resources. The country met self-sufficiency for rice last year.

The vice minister also said that the government will tighten control on possible smuggling of rice as the prices abroad are much higher.

Indonesia's production of milled rice is predicted to increase by 3.51 million tons, or 5.83 percent, to 63.84 million tons this year, the National Statistic Bureau has said.

GNA

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