Indonesia Seed Industry News

This page features a compilation and selection of Indonesian seed industry news briefs, summaries and leads, with an emphasis on events that impact or affect provinces, regions, counties, cities and locales in the Republic of Indonesia

The news covers trends and events regarding seed regulation, testing, legislation, phytosanitary issues, intellectual property rights, biotechnology (genomics, gene-editing) plant breeding, agronomy and cropping, with original sources linked.

This page will be updated throughout the year, with most recent stories on top. 


2024 News


Rice Reserves Boosted with Imports: February 26: The National Food Agency (Bapanas) is set to import 1.6 million tons of rice to enhance the government's rice reserves to meet the directive of maintaining at least 1.2 million tons in stock. Despite a two million ton import quota, only 500,000 tons have been received so far. Currently, rice prices remain high, with the government implementing measures, including selling rice at a maximum retail price, to stabilize prices and ensure availability. More details here

Embraces Diverse Crops for Climate Resilience: February 20: Indonesia is transitioning towards more sustainable agriculture by diversifying from rice to alternative crops like sorghum, millet, and corn in response to climate change. This shift leverages the nation's fertile lands and traditional farming knowledge to enhance food security and sustainability. Moving away from a historical reliance on rice, the introduction of resilient crops aims to bolster nutritional intake and ecological balance, reflecting the country’s commitment to a sustainable agricultural future. More details here

Agriculture Minister Highlights Benefits of Modern Farming Techniques: January 24: Indonesia's Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman emphasized the significant cost reductions and efficiency gains achievable through modern agriculture. During a visit to the Barokah Farmers Group in Blawong Hamlet, Bantul, Yogyakarta, Sulaiman observed the use of machinery in rice planting and harvesting, noting a potential 60% decrease in planting costs compared to traditional methods. He explained that machine planting requires only one person per hectare, as opposed to 20 with manual methods, leading to more uniform crop ripening and reduced labor needs. The minister also highlighted that modern agricultural practices could complete planting in a single day per hectare, enhancing efficiency and attractiveness to the younger generation. He stressed that modern farming, which can reduce costs by 60% and increase production by 50%, is key to making agriculture appealing and profitable for millennial farmers. More details here

Farmers Embrace Agroforestry Amid Challenges: January 24: In Indonesia, farmers like Sri Atmiatun in Batutegi, Lampung province, are facing increased fertilizer costs and extreme weather conditions. In response, they have turned to sustainable farming practices, including the creation of organic fertilizers from farm waste. The Batutegi region, known for coffee cultivation, has seen declining yields due to soil quality deterioration. To address this, farmers are adopting agroforestry, integrating tree crops like avocado and candlenut with their existing coffee plants, and utilizing manure for compost and organic fertilizer. This shift towards agroforestry and organic farming is helping farmers reduce reliance on expensive chemical fertilizers and diversify their production. The initiative is aimed at improving soil health and preserving the forest habitat, while also enhancing the resilience and sustainability of the local farming community. More details here

Innovative Food Security Initiative in Indonesia Wins Growth Grant: January 23: Kopernik, an organization focusing on addressing food insecurity in West Timor, Indonesia, has been recognized as one of the winners of the Growth Grant in the Seeding The Future Global Food System Challenge. Their project, the Pangan Initiative, adopts an innovative approach that integrates indigenous farming practices, food preservation technologies, and a circular economy model. This model utilizes black soldier flies to convert organic and food waste into animal feed and compost for farming. The initiative aims to create a more climate-resilient and self-sustaining food system and community in West Timor. This award is part of the Seeding The Future Foundation and Institute of Food Technologists' efforts to support transformative innovations that make food systems more equitable, nutritious, and sustainable. More details here

2023 News


2023 News


Food Crop Planting to Counter El Nino-Driven Imports: 23 Nov: The Indonesian Agriculture Ministry is focusing on increasing the production of national strategic commodities to reduce imports caused by the El Nino phenomenon. Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman emphasized that accelerating the planting program is crucial for reducing imports and achieving self-sufficiency in food. The ministry is collaborating with various parties, including the Indonesian Military (TNI), to implement the National Food Security Movement for Advanced Indonesia. Source

Millets Championed as a Sustainable Carb Source: 23 Nov: The National Food Agency (Bapanas) is promoting the cultivation and consumption of millets as an alternative carbohydrate source to rice. Recognizing millets' ability to thrive in challenging climates and dry lands with minimal agricultural inputs, Bapanas sees this as a crucial step towards achieving national food security through diversified local food sources. The agency is not only formulating regulations to support this initiative but also engaging in widespread promotion, education, and campaigns. Millets, including varieties like foxtail, barnyard, finger, proso, and sorghum, are found across various Indonesian regions. Source

Technological Revolution in Agriculture Underway: 6 Nov: Indonesia is actively transforming its agricultural system from traditional methods to modern practices according to Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman. The country, which previously had a low level of mechanization, has made significant progress, now aiming to reach the Japanese standard of six horsepower per hectare. This shift includes the use of technology such as drones for spreading fertilizer. The government is also engaging millennial farmers through the Indonesian Youth Farming Movement (Gempita) and focusing on digitalization in agriculture, from cultivation to selling produce.  Source

Indonesia Aims to Become World Food Barn by 2028: 3 Nov: Indonesia's Agriculture Minister has expressed optimism about transforming the country into the world's food barn by 2028. The plan includes converting swamp lands into agricultural areas, with a goal to develop one million hectares next year. This initiative is expected to yield 2.5 million tons of rice per hectare, significantly boosting rice production. The minister has outlined an ambitious target to open six million hectares for agriculture, aiming for a production of 80 million tons of rice. Planting is scheduled to start in November 2023 for harvest in early 2024. Source

Indonesia Mulls Extending Rice Handout Program: 26 Oct: Indonesia is considering extending its rice handout program to March 2024 due to concerns over supply disruptions caused by drought linked to the El Nino weather pattern. The country's food procurement agency, Bulog, has been distributing 10 kilograms of rice monthly to 21.3 million lower-income households. The program was initially set to run from September to November but has already been extended to December. Bulog has sufficient rice stock for the program and has received a mandate to import an additional 1.5 million metric tons of rice. Source

Measures to Counter El Nino's Proposed: 6 Oct: The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) in Indonesia has outlined three steps to help farmers mitigate the risks of crop failures due to the El Nino weather phenomenon. The steps include utilizing the planting calendar (katam) information system for optimal cultivation times, switching to early-maturing food crops like mung beans and sorghum instead of rice, and efficient water usage. BRIN aims to modernize traditional farming methods in Indonesia and help farmers adapt to changing weather patterns. The agency emphasizes the importance of efficient irrigation systems to conserve water during prolonged dry seasons. Source



Reviving Indonesia's Forgotten Rice Varieties: 10 Sep: Indonesia has seen a decline in its indigenous rice varieties, many of which have disappeared or are on the brink of extinction. However, passionate individuals like Helianti Hilman are working to revive these nearly extinct varieties. Hilman founded Javara Indonesia, a company specializing in selling Indonesia's rare, heritage food and ingredients. These indigenous rice varieties are not only culturally significant but may also be resilient to extreme weather conditions, making them crucial in efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change. Source

Indonesia Prepares 500,000 hectares of planting to counter climate: August 3: In response to the impending El Nino climate phenomenon, the Indonesian government is gearing up to allocate 500,000 hectares of agricultural land for rice cultivation. Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo announced that several regions, including North Sumatra, South Sumatra, three areas in Java, and South Sulawesi, are ready to prepare agricultural land to secure the nation's rice stock. The proactive initiative aims to mitigate the impact of the anticipated prolonged drought. Local government collaboration has been highlighted as a crucial component of this strategy. The move follows President Joko Widodo's directive to guarantee rice availability, reflecting concerns about rice accessibility and affordability in Indonesia. Source.

Minister of Agriculture Distributes Drought-Adaptable Rice Seeds: July 30: Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo distributed four tons of new superior rice seed varieties, capable of withstanding El Niño-induced drought, to several provinces in Indonesia. With the anticipation of drought due to El Niño, the government aims to maintain agricultural productivity amid the global food crisis. The distributed rice seed includes resilient varieties like Inpago 9, Inpago 12, Inpago 13 Foriz, Cakrabuana, and Inpari 42, which can produce over eight tons per hectare of rice and have a long lifespan despite limited water availability. Source.

Indonesia's Ambitious Cassava Plantation Project Faces Controversy: July 28: Indonesia's plan to establish large cassava plantations to reduce its rice dependence and cut wheat imports faces scrutiny as environmental groups report deforestation without Indigenous Dayaks' consent. The ambitious food farm push, covering an area of 770,000 hectares, aimed to create food independence and boost the economy. However, of the 23,000 hectares designated for cassava in Gunung Mas, about 750 hectares were reportedly cleared without proper authorization. Green groups Greenpeace and WALHI express concerns over environmental damage and human rights issues in various food estate projects, breaching conservation laws and climate commitments. Source.

Indonesia Increases Social Welfare Budget to Tackle Rising Food Prices: July 24: To control food prices and offset the potential impact of the El Niño-induced drought on rice output, Indonesia has raised its social welfare budget by 8 trillion rupiah (US$532.41 million). The government will provide an additional 10 kilograms of rice per month from October to December to 21.35 million vulnerable families, on top of the existing rice assistance program. With international rice prices rising after India suspended exports, Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest economy, is also planning to import 2 million tonnes of rice this year to stabilize domestic prices. Source.

EWINDO Inaugurates Advanced R&D Center for Vegetable Seeds: July 19: East West Seed Indonesia (EWINDO) has unveiled a state-of-the-art 4,500m2 research and development (R&D) center in Purwakarta, West Java. The facility, designed for post-pandemic workspaces, positions EWINDO as Indonesia's leading vegetable seed company with an expansive R&D area. Notable attendees included Dr. Ir Prihasto Setyanto MSc, Director General of Horticulture, and Pudji Lestari, Head of National Research and Innovation Agency of Indonesia (BRIN). The advanced R&D center aims to accelerate high-quality seed production and establish EWINDO as a 'center of excellence' for vegetable seeds. Source.


Modern farming urged in Sebauh: April 22: The Minister of Food Industries, Commodities, and Regional Development in Sebauh District has advised farmers and breeders to learn modern farming methods in order to increase their yields. He mentioned that modern farming patterns such as fertigation and hydroponics are being actively developed, and encouraged residents of longhouses to take advantage of the opportunities to learn modern farming methods for better harvests. He added that adopting modern farming methods could help increase their income and expose them to up-to-date agricultural technology for better yields. The Minister made these remarks at the Agriculture Community Outreach Programme, where about 100 villagers from nine longhouses participated. Source.

Certified mung bean seeds sought: April 18: In Indonesia, the commercialization of high-yielding mung bean seeds required collaboration between the government and the private sector. Mung beans are a popular crop for smallholder farmers as they generate additional income, provide affordable nutrient-rich food, and increase soil fertility. However, low productivity due to the lack of high-yielding seed varieties and poor farming techniques is a challenge. Farmers rely on retained seeds with lower yields than certified seeds, and buyers mainly procure imported mung beans. Source

GM wheat gets green light for human consumption: March 16: The Indonesian government has approved the use of genetically modified (GMO) HB4 wheat, which is designed to better resist drought, for human consumption. This approval expands the use of the GMO wheat beyond its previously approved use in animal feed. The approval comes as Argentina's farmland has been hit hard by drought, and the GMO wheat is seen as a way to increase crop yields in challenging conditions. Indonesia is the world's largest wheat importer, and Argentina is one of the world's top grains suppliers. The approval of HB4 wheat in Indonesia follows a similar market approval in Brazil earlier this month. Source.


Consolidation sought in face of surging feed prices: February 17: Berdikari, a state-owned livestock farming company in Indonesia, has asked the Indonesian Feedmills Association GPMT to provide the necessary demand for imported feed wheat from its members. This is due to the increasing costs of raw materials such as domestic corn and imported soybean meal prices. Berdikari intends to purchase Australian feed wheat with Standard Feed Wheat specifications for May-June shipments to Cigading and Surabaya. However, feed millers have expressed concerns about the price of feed wheat, which they consider to be expensive, especially when taking into account associated costs. Moreover, the cargo will only arrive from June 2023 onward, and the outlook on domestic corn prices remains unclear. Source

Minister urges for market fairness ahead of rice harvest peak: February 17: The Agriculture Minister has confirmed that harvest season has begun in all areas and the volume of rice production is in line with the government's projection. The minister cited data from Statistics Indonesia and stated that from February to March 2023, one million and 1.9 million hectares of crops would be harvested, respectively. The peak of the harvest period would be from March to April 2023, with an average volume of 5.9 million tons of harvested rice. The government's forecast for rice production during the peak harvest period was expected to meet the demands of the people. President Jokowi had reminded cabinet ministers to keep rice prices in check, as they continued to increase at the start of 2023. Source

2022 News


2022 News



The Indonesian Seed Association, Asbenindo has provided an overview of seed industry regulations in the world’s third most populous country. In a document titled “Basic principles of seed regulations and legislation in Indonesia", which was shared with Asian Seed in August, Asbenindo listed various decrees and laws in force in context to the following eight points:

1. For every seed circulating in Indonesia, the variety must have been released by the Government and the seed must have been certified.

2. Every seed in circulation must be equipped with a label containing the quality of the seed from the laboratory quality test.

3. Seeds that are exported or imported must be accompanied by an Import/Export Permit (SIP).

4. Seed certification can be carried out by the institution that handles the supervision and certification of seeds or by the producers themselves who have received a recommendation from the LSSM (Quality system certification agency).

5. Seeds circulating between islands must obtain a recommendation from the Plant Quarantine Center in both the origin and the receiving area.

6. Introduced seeds after being released by the Government within 2-3 years must be produced by spreading seeds or F1 in Indonesia.

7. International companies that will invest in Indonesia must obtain approval from the ministry of investment and Head of Investment Coordinating Board. Asbenindo clarified that after obtaining an international company's investment permit from the Minister of Investment, its seed industry operations must be registered at the local Seed Supervision and Certification Center

Q3 news 

Bolstering staple grain alternatives: August 20: Indonesia is looking to boost output of corn and wheat substitutes like sorghum, sago and cassava as part of efforts to mitigate food security concerns fueled by labor shortages, soaring energy costs an geopolitical conflicts that have propelled global food prices. Source.

Rice self-sufficiency achievement: August 16: The International Rice Resarch Institute (IRRI) has formally commended Indonesia for its “strong efforts to achieve rice self-sufficiency” The  acknowledgement came in the form of an award presented to President Joko Widodo during a ceremony at the State Palace in Jakarta on 14 August 2022. Source.

Parliament member speaks on illegal rice seeds issues: August 16: A member of Indonesia’s national assembly has publicized his opinions about the process to amend the Rice and Rice Control Bill 2022 (Amendment) which was debated on August 10. He emphasized several issues including legal rice seeds and rice subsidies that require attention and feedback from the ministry, noting that total of 67 premises of  agricultural input  shops were inspected and resulted in eight infractions in the sale of illegal rice seeds, revealing that there would be an appointment of 13 legal rice seed wholesalers and 12 production companies to distribute legal rice seeds. Source.

Seed regulations and investment landscape: August 1: The Indonesian Seed Association, Asbenindo has informed APSA of the latest landscape for seed industry regulations in the world’s third most populous country through a document titled “Basic principles of seed regulations and legislation in Indonesia". Citing various decrees and laws in force (which will be shared in Asian Seed Magazine), the document noted the following eight points:

  1. For every seed circulating in Indonesia, the variety must have been released by the Government and the seed must have been certified.
  2. Every seed in circulation must be equipped with a label containing the quality of the seed from the laboratory quality test.
  3. Seeds that are exported or imported must be accompanied by an Import/Export Permit (SIP).
  4. Seed certification can be carried out by the institution that handles the supervision and certification of seeds or by the producers themselves who have received a recommendation from the LSSM (Quality system certification agency).
  5. Seeds circulating between islands must obtain a recommendation from the Plant Quarantine Center in both the origin and the receiving area.
  6. Introduced seeds after being released by the Government within 2-3 years must be produced by spreading seeds or F1 in Indonesia.
  7. International companies that will invest in Indonesia must obtain approval from the ministry of investment and Head of Investment Coordinating Board. Asbenindo clarified that after obtaining an international company's investment permit from the Minister of Investment, its seed industry operations must be registered at the local Seed Supervision and Certification Cente

Seed producers prior to operation must obtain recommendations as seed producers from the local government cq the Center for Seed Supervision and certification. Jakarta, 1st August 2022. 

Superior S795 Arabica seeds grown in West Papua: July 19: A superior variety of Arabica coffee seeds were distributed to coffee farmers in Warmare District, West Papua. The coffee seeds are superior varieties of S795 Arabica coffee that have been planted since June 2021 in experimental gardens in Ambon. Source

Sulawesi rice seed assistance: July 19: A target by the South Sulawesi Provincial Government for rice seed assistance for this year’s initial planting season (April-September) has been met with a total of 1.2 million kg of paddy seed distributed for free to growers. Source and here

West Kalimantan rice breeding demo: July 18-20: High-yielding, disease-resistant rice varieties are being bred and trialed in the Singaraya Village, Semparuk District. Source.

Nganjuk seed warehouse burns down: July 18: Sang Hyang Seri's warehouse for agricultural seeds in Tempel Village, Brebek District, Nganjuk Regency, burned down on July 18. The cause of the fire was not initially reported, but thought could be linked to discarding of a live cigarette butt. Source. :

Fertilizer price hikes prompt crop diversification and food estates: July 16: Indonesian agriculture is coping with potassium fertilizer shortages, after supplies from Russia had been curbed. Aside from Russia, supplies also have also been sourced from Canada and Belarus. To help the country cope with food security threats, the government has supported the establishment of food estates and food diversification programs, including diversifying into sago and cassava as replacements for wheat. Source.

Chili seeds distributed for Jakarta planting: July 16: Addressing rising prices of chili crops, the Ministry of Agriculture (Kementan) has distributed 3,500 chili seeds in polybags for free to the people of DKI Jakarta at the Cibubur Nursery , East Jakarta. The seeds intended to be planted in urban plots and spaces as part of ongoing sustainable food and urban farming projects supported by the government. Source here and here

Farmers urge for lift of palm oil export restrictions: July 15: Palm oil farmers and exporters have urged the Indonesian government to lift restrictions on export of the commodity, subject to the domestic market obligation (DMO). According to the Indonesia Palm Oil Association board, the DMO is currently not necessary as domestic supplies and reserves are sufficient. Source.

President praises ‘superior’ rice seed: July 12: Indonesian President Joko Widodo has expressed appreciation for the development of superior seeds produced by the Center for Rice Research (BBPadi) of the Ministry of Agriculture (Kementan). The superior varieties of BBPadi from the Ministry of Agriculture have produced rice production of 9 to 12 tons per hectare (ha). Source.

Promise of Pulong-Lampung maize hybrid: July 14: Reog 234 corn is reportedly capable of 10 tons per hectare, which is sufficient enough to match that of other popular varieties in circulation. The female parent of Reog 234 corn seed came from Pulung District, while the male parent was developed in Lampung. The seed pollination process takes place in Ponorogo. The seeds are planned to be cultivated on 50 thousand hectares of rainfed land. Source.

Rice breeding reinitiated in Gunungsitoli: July 11: To fulfill the need for superior rice seeds, the government of Gunungsitoli City in North Sumatra, through the Gunungsitoli City Food and Agriculture Security Service (Diskeptan) in the 2022 budget year reinitiated rice seed breeding program, which will focus on cultivation and breeding across an area of ​​60 hectares. Source.

Minister targets 1 million coconut seeds: July 7: Speaking at a meeting with early coconut seed breeders, the Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Indonesia, Syahrul Yasin Limpo (Mentan SYL) announced a target to produce 1 million coconut seeds which will be focused on several areas in North Sumatra and Java. Original story in Bhasa Indonesia

Q2 news 

Counterfeit seed operation dismantled: May 30: The West Java Regional Police have reportedly dismantled a counterfeit tomato seed operation in damage to PT East West Seed Indonesia. Seed counterfeiters operating out of the Rancaekek and Ciparay areas, Bandung Regency, West Java, reportedly were using social media and market places to victimize farmers in West Java and various other cities in Indonesia.The reported party was charged with Article 100 of the Law on Trademarks and Geographical Indications, which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison. Farmers seeking chili seeds were supplied with counterfeit tomato seeds and a thorough investigation initiated by the PT Ewindo ultimately led to the incrimination of the counterfeiters. Authorities said that such acts could cost the country Rp 600 billion in losses. Source here, and here.

Subsidizing rice seeds in Badung: May 30: Regency officials have publicized their efforts to subsidize rice seeds so as to increase productivity while maintaining the stability of people's food security. Subsidies for rice seeds were given to 117 Subaks throughout Badung Regency, consisting of 19 Subaks in North Kuta District, 48 Subaks in Mengwi District, 34 Subaks in Abiansemal District, 16 Subaks in Petang District, and 1 Subak in Kuta District. The seeds are aimed to be sown on ​​9,495 hectares. The number of subsidized rice seeds is 237,384 kilograms. Source

DNA testing of plantation seeds necessary: May 27: DNA testing on Plantation Plant Seeds has been deemed as “very necessary” as part of efforts to determining the origin and authentication of seeds in the plantation crop seed system. The revelation was made by M. Saleh Mokhtar, Director of Plantation Seeds at the Directorate General of Plantations at the Ministry of Agriculture during a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) Activity on the Urgency of DNA Testing on Plantation Plant Seeds, in an official statement. Source.

Biofortified rice distributed in Bombana: May 27: The Government of Bombana Regency, Southeast Sulawesi, through the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, received seed assistance for zinc-biofortified rice to be sown on an area of ​​200 hectares in the second planting season of 2022. Biofortified rice seeds will be distributed to farmer groups in Rumbia sub-district this year. This is the second year that Bombana district received biofortified rice seeds, which yield rice that has a high Zinc profile, a growth cycle of only 100 days, is resistant to blast disease and well as pests. Source

Vegetable seeds distributed in North Luwu: May 14: Vegetable seeds were distributed free of charge to a number of villagers in North Luwu Regency as part of self-sufficiency promotion efforts. Publicity efforts for the hand out were showcased at the Pince Pute Village in Malangke District. Source

Q1 news 

Indonesia further restricts palm oil exports: March 9: Indonesia has announced plans to further restrict exports of palm oil so as to increase domestic supplies in the face of surging cooking oil prices. Indonesia, which is the world's biggest producer and exporter of palm oil, will reportedly require companies to sell 30% of their planned exports of crude palm oil and olein at home, up from 20% currently. This is part of a scheme dubbed as Domestic Market Obligation (DMO). The new restriction will stay in place for at least six months. Source.

NGO warns against forest to farm plan in Papua: ‘Climate researchers’ have warned against a plan to clear 2.7 millions of hectares of forests in Indonesia’s easternmost region of Papua for food crops will release a massive amount of greenhouse gasses, which they claim would be a “disaster for Indonesia’s commitments to tackling climate change by reducing emissions from the forestry and land-use sector”. The researchers, from non-profit, Pusaka, hold that potential emissions from converting these forests into farmland would amount to nearly a quarter of Indonesia’s projected emissions by 2030. See full story here.

Rice breeding, seeding efforts in South Sulawesi: February 27: The Provincial Government of South Sulawesi through the Department of Food Crops, Horticulture and Plantations is carrying out efforts to promote seed independence in the province. Seed breeder seeds have been distributed to farmers during the period from October 2021-March 2022, for use on an area of ​​400 ha, and a seed production target of 1,200 tons of seed, which would later be planted in an area of ​​48,000 hectares.This seed propagation involves 12 districts, 27 sub-districts, 36 villages/kelurahan and 234 rice seed breeders. During the April-September 2022 period, planned is production of 436,363 kg of rice seed, involving 85 breeders, and a further phase October 2022 to March 2023 tocarry out a 755-hectare rice seed breeding program, expected to yield 2,265 tons of rice seed to be sown on ​​90,600 hectares. See original story here.

EWS in virtual seed expo: February 21: T East West Seed Indonesia (EWINDO) held a virtual expo, in which it showed off its latest superior vegetable seed varieties to the attention of farmers logging in from across Indonesia. In addition to the latest superior varieties of vegetable seeds, the expo also presented agricultural cultivation technology to a consultation room with experts to provide solutions to various problems by farmers, while also facilitating an opportunity for farmers to exchange ideas and learn about the latest techniques in vegetable cultivation. Original story here.

Ministry of Agriculture boosts soybean seed breeding, distribution: An expert researcher at the Research Institute for Various Nuts and Tubers (Balitbangtan) under the Ministry of Agriculture (Kementan) is optimistic that the government's target for local soybean could be realized. Usually soybean planting commences inJune or July, while seed preparation is between January to March. The Ministry  has prepared source soybean seeds that are adaptive to various agro-climatic conditions in Indonesia’s tropical environment, including 114 varieties, while a total of 30 tons of soybean seeds are distributed annually. Original story here.

PVP UPOV Breeder’s Exception knowledge shared in webinar: The Ministry of Agriculture of Indonesia on January 26 held an online seminar to increase understanding about the Breeder’s Exemption in PVP under UPOV Convention. The conference, which was facilitated online through the Zoom platform, was attended by government officials and delegates from seed companies, research institutes and farmers associations of Indonesia, as well as delegates from the EAPVP Forum member countries. Lecturers leading discussions were: Mr. Warsidi (Head of PVP Services, PVTPP, Indonesia; Mr. Teruhisa Miyamoto (Deputy Director, Intellectual Property Division, Export and International Bureau, MAFF, Japan); Ms. Cam Thi Hang (Examining Official, Plant Variety Protection Office, MARD, Viet Nam); Ms. Grace Issahaque (Chief State Attorney, Registrar-General’s Department, Ministry of Justice, Ghana); Prof Hans Adu Dapaah (Vice Chair, CSIR College of Science, Kumasi, Ghana) and  Ms. Yolanda Huerta (Legal Counsel and Director of Training and Assistance, UPOV). For more info, and to download presentations click here

2021 News


Q4 News

Manggari govt promotes nutmeg, spice cultivation: December 28: The Manggarai Regency Government has begun to increase cultivation of various spices, including nutmeg , ginger and turmeric. The news was revealed during a ceremonial nutmeg planting event in the Renda Village of North Satarmese District on December 28. The  government is encouraging the cultivation of nutmeg based on favorable market factors. Indonesia's nutmeg- producing areas include Maluku and surrounding areas such as North Sumatra. However, there have been seedling challenges, prompting the need to provide seed support in 2022. As nutmeg cultivation requires 4 to 5 years to harvest, farmers were encouraged to intercrop with other short-cycle crops, such as corn. Full story here.

Mount Sumbing mass tree, community crop planting: December 28: The fertile slopes of Mount Sumbing in Temanggung Regency, Central Java, are being sown with some 50,680 seedlings of various trees and cover crops as part of efforts to promote sustainable soil and water conservation. Tree planting efforts were carried out at 44 upstream and downstream river points, and along roads and community areas of 62 villages in six sub-districts. Trees planted included banyan trees, bamboo, sugar palm and fruits. The planting was carried out by 23 volunteer organizations with 492 personnel. Planting will continue along the Sumbing slope area through to the end of December, to be completed by the end of January 2022. Full story in Indonesian here.

Chii prices rise in West Kalimantan: December 27: The price of chili in West Kalimantan has increased as 2021 draws to a close. In Pontianak City, the price of chili was quoted to be about IDR 130 rupiahs ($9.14) per kilogram, up from IDR 120 thousand ($8.44) per kilogram. Price increases are blamed on flooding in the past few months in in the West Kalimantan region, especially in the Sintang, Melawi, and Sanggau regencies, which are important chili-producing areas. See full story here.

Palm oil output, demand forecast to rise in 2022: Output of crude palm oil in Indonesia next year has been forecast to reach more than 51 million tonnes, which would be a 2.6% increase over 2021, which is estimated to be about  49.71 million tonnes. Demand in 2022 for exports was also forecast to increase, up to 27.9 million tonnes, compared to 27.08 million tonnes expected in 2021. From this, domestic demand is being pegged to reach 11.4 million tonnes, compared to 11.1 million tonnes in 2021. Indonesia is the world's biggest producer and exporter of palm oil. Full report here.

Changing diets for growing middle class: December 3: A report by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) has observed changing diet preferences in a growing middle class in Indonesia, which is shifting to a “more diverse range of foods, an increase in processed and prepared foods from hospitality and more people using supermarkets, rather than ‘wet’ markets.” The observation was made in a report titled ‘Indonesian outlook, looking at exporting opportunities for Australia’, and noted “significant growth in the number of restaurants and food stalls and the growing use of smart phones and food delivery services,”. The report predicts a 1,321pc increase in meat consumption, citing a corelation in rising incomes. More details here.

New ISTA accredited lab in Indonesia: October. The International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) has announced that PT BISI International Tbk, Quality Control Laboratory, in Indonesia is now an #ISTA Accredited Laboratory Member. The lab is accredited to carry out Sampling,  Purity & determination of other seeds, Germination and  Moisture content determination tests. Its accreditation is valid between September 1, 2021 to June 15, 2024. More details regarding the laboratory's scope of accreditation, can be found on the appendix to the Certificate of Accreditation here, and more details about PT BISI International, including their work, mission and vision are here.

Q3 News

Village in Sumemep to be developed as ‘agropolitan’: August 24: The Government  of Sumenep regency of the East Java province has announced plans to develop a 10 hectare areas of the Mandala Village in Rubaru District as an agropolitan, which will emphasise increased output of high-quality agricultural products. The village was chosen because the local sub-district is a center for horticultural crops, and the agropolitan development is aimed at improving welfare of the community through an emphasis on both upstream and downstream agricultural products Original news here

Ban on porang seed exports encouraged: Aug 24: A ban on the export of seeds of the Porang plant (Amorphophallus muelleri.) is being touted by politicians in East Java, where Porang has grown in popularity as an alternative food source that is resilient to various types of climates. Demand in China, Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea and Chinese Tapei has also grown in the wake of economic turmoil linked to the Covid-19 pandemic. In order to boost local production and export potential, the Ministry of Agriculture (Kementan) has prepared “superior” porang seeds, while a regulation to supervise the  circulation of porang seeds has been issued.  According to one calculation, it may be possible to yield 15 tonnes per hectare once the plant matures in 2-3 years, which would fetch Rp 105 million ($7,300). More details here

Seeds for insecure villages in Bone: August 23: The Bone Regency Government has begun converting unused land into productive food production plots as part of pandemic food security efforts. Moreover the regency’s food security service has been providing farmers with vegetable seed assistance. Among the recipients include ‘novice farmers’ and women’s groups, who have been provided with various types of vegetable seeds. According to data cited from 61 food-insecure villages,there are still 18 villages in the regency considered food-insecure. See original story here

GM seed potatoes  for commercial production: Aug 22: A high-yielding GM-variety of seed potato  approved for commercial cultivation is able to output double conventional yields, noted a member of Indonesia’s Biosafety Technical Team (TTKH). Speaking recently during a webinar, the academician cited a Decree of the Minister of Agriculture No. 548/Kpts/SR.130/D/VII/2021, highlighting that the variety had initially been certified for food safety trials in 2016 and achieved environmental safety certification in 2018. The seed potato was developed and trialled by the Lembang Vegetable Crops Research Agency and the Indonesian Center for Agricultural Biotechnology and Genetic Resources Research and Development. Not only can it yield up to 30 tons per hectare (ha), farmers also can reduce their use of fungicides by up to 50%. The article notes that in 2021 there are two important regulations related to the development of GM crops: first, through the Minister of Agriculture Regulation No. 50 of 2020 regarding the supervision and control of GM crop varieties, and secondly, through the Decree of the Head of “Balitbangtang” NO 337 of 2021 regarding guidelines for testing and evaluating PRG plant varieties (plants produced from the application of genetic engineering techniques ) in the context of releasing plant varieties. Original news here

Coconut seeds certified, distributed: Aug 18: Some 25,000 coconut seeds will be certified and distributed to farmers in West Kalimantan as part of efforts to provide quality seeds to increase production in an area spanning ​​202 hectares. Of the 25,000 coconut seeds, 1,250 have already been distributed. Original story here

Caught between rock and hard place: July: Various media agencies have started dubbing Indonesia as the “Asian coronavirus epicenter” after daily case numbers in July surpassed 50,000, prompting some neighboring countries to impose restrictions on travellers from there, including Singapore on July 10, and the Philippines on July 14. Though much of Indonesia had been under ‘partial lockdown’, strict lockdown restrictions were imposed in Java and Bali, as well as in 43 areas outside of these jurisdictions. After business groups warned of mass layoffs unless restrictions were relaxed, and operational staff of essential businesses were permitted to work at offices and factories, the government said it would gradually ease restrictions in areas where case numbers fell, hospital capacity increased and the "sociological condition" of residents demanded it. On July 20, President Joko Widodo said the government’s easing policy would include allowing traditional markets selling staples to open until 8pm, at half capacity. Traditional markets selling other items would be allowed to open until 3pm, also at half capacity. Other small-scale businesses, such as street vendors, laundry and workshops would be allowed to open to 9pm, while food stalls located outdoors could serve customers until 9pm, “with each customer limited to 30 minutes.” However, the World Health Organization (WHO) responded on July 22 urging Indonesian authorities  to implement “a stricter and wider lockdown throughout the country,” See CNA report, Straits Times article and Jakarta Post article for more information

Q2 News

Ministry of Agriculture rice seed breeding program for irrigated areas: 11 May: In order to support the productivity of seed breeders the Ministry of Agriculture is organising Field Schools as part of the Integrated Participatory Development and Management of Irrigation Project (IPDMIP) program. The program will be mostly carried out for farmers in irrigation areas in 74 districts in 16 provinces. "Farmers can be nurtured to become experts in order to produce higher quality rice seeds and open access for farmers to obtain superior seeds more easily, because they are widely available," said Dedi Nursyamsi, Head of the Agricultural Human Resources Counseling and Development Agency, Ministry of Agriculture. In Sako Village, Rambutan District, a local farmer is currently breeding 64 hectares (​​20 hectares in collaboration with IPDMIP and 44 hectares with PT Pertani. Head of the Banyuasin Regency Food Crops and Horticulture Agency, Zainuddin said, “Rambutan District is the main rice production center in Banyuasin with a total paddy field area of ​​more than 186,000 hectares or about 34% of the total area of ​​South Sumatra's rice fields, which is nearly 540,000 hectares.” Original story in Bahasa Indonesia here and here.

Farmer Groups in Lubuk Pinang Receive Superior Rice Seeds: 11 May: A spokesperson from the Office of Food Crops and Horticulture of Mukomuko Regency announced that an area of ​​2,000 hectares of rice fields belonging to 96 farmer groups spread across six villages in Lubuk Pinang District of Bengkulu Province received assistance in the form of superior rice seeds from the central government, an increase from 1,100 hectares of rice fields that received superior rice seeds in the previous year. However, this year's figure still fell short of the proposed 3,700 hectares of rice fields belonging to local farmers that were due to receive superior rice seed assistance from the central government. Original story in Bahasa Indonesia 

Accelerating ornamental, vegetable seed export prospects: May 7: The Indonesian Government is boosting efforts to towards national economic recovery by increasing exports, especially of ornamental plants and vegetable seeds. Reports CNBC Indonesia, commodities that are particularly high in demand include water spinach, tomatoes, beans, pumpkin and string beans. See report here

High yielding purple corn distributed to farmers in Malaka: May 7: The Ministry of Agriculture recently oversaw the distribution of 650 kilograms of Lamuru purple corn seeds to five farmer groups in Malaka Regency, East Nusa Tenggara Province. The strain was developed by the Assessment Institute of Agricultural Technology and was provided as aid to farmers who had suffered damage to land, crops and livestock as a result of Cyclone Seroja. The variety is resistant to pests and requires less fertilizer than other strains, with a higher yield of around 5-6 tons/ha compared to other local varieties that only produce 2 tons/ha. Original story in Bahasa Indonesia

Jumbo taro variety developed for export: May 7: The Ministry of Agriculture is working on developing Talas Beneng, a large taro variety that has its origins in Pandeglang Regency, as an alternative food crop and export commodity. Beneng taro has been developed since 2015 due to demand for fresh and processed tubers and flour, and can also be processed as a base for cosmetics, and food products including potato chips and cakes. There is strong demand from overseas for the tuber. 300 tons of its leaves are shipped to Australia per week to be used in the manufacture of herbal cigarettes. The taro has a height of about 2 meters and can weigh up to 50 kilograms, and they are relatively easy and low cost to grow. In 2021, the Ministry of Agriculture will begin to provide assistance for the development of beneng taro covering an area of ​​250 hectares with the potential for expansion to 1,540 hectares. Original story in Bahasa Indonesia

19000 ha sown in Central Kalimantan food estate: May 7: The Director General of Agricultural Infrastructure of the Ministry of Agriculture, Sarwo Edhy, said that currently more than 19,000 hectares of Food Estate land in Kapuas, Central Kalimantan, has been planted with superior seeds. The remaining 900 hectares will be planted gradually until mid-May. Earlier this week, the Ministry of Agriculture surveyed rice planting in Central Kalimantan food estates. The Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Momon Rusmono, wqs in Kapuas to witness the rice planting process using direct seed planting tool, as well as the sowing of rice seeds using drones. The Minister went on to state that Central Kalimantan food estates will be used as a model for modern national agriculture. Original story in Bahasa Indonesia

20 farmer groups to receive superior corn seeds in Mukomuko: May 3: The Agriculture Office of Mukomuko Regency, Bengkulu Province, said that as many as 20 farmer groups with 500 hectares of agricultural land were potential candidates for receiving superior corn seed assistance from the local provincial government in 2021. The land consisted of land for corn farming, rice fields that had not been planted with rice, and oil palm plantations. "This 500 hectare area of ​​agricultural land is spread across six sub-districts in this area and the majority of agricultural land owned by these farmers is ready to be planted with superior corn seeds," said the Head of the Agriculture Office of Mukomuko Regency. Original story in Bahasa Indonesia

Hybrid maize seed aid for Probolinggo farmers: May 2: A total of 15 tons of hybrid maize seeds were distributed to 68 farmer groups in Probolinggo City in East Java. The seed aid, procured through the Ministry of Agriculture, is intended for planting across ​​1,000 hectares this dry season. Original story here

Regent touts Sukamta hybrid maize in Tala: April 28: The Regent of Tanah Laut (Tala) is encouraging locals to plant corn in the their yards and on vacant land throughout the community. His invitation came as he harvested sweet corn with residents in Kayu Abang Village, Tambang Kembali District. A local corn variety known as Sukamta was touted as a superior variety that could ensure locals become self sufficient in this crop. Original news here

Herb firm to develop superior spice seeds: April 20: Sido Muncul, one of the largest producers of herbal medicine in Indonesia, is investing in research to develop superior spice seeds. The research will foster collaboration amongst academics, institutions from the faculties of pharmacy and health sectors. The research, which will be conducted in nursery and greenhouse, will involve breeding of ginger, cumin, cardamom and other lucrative herbs and spices, “working with 102 farmer groups scattered in many places," Sido Muncul is a publicly listed herbal medicine and food products company based in Semarang. More details in Indonesian here

Deficit of maize as prices soar: April 20: Based on a corn supply-demand assessment covering the first five months of 2021,  a deficit of corn in April and May this year has caused the price of the staple crop to soare above the government reference price. Meanwhile, international maize prices rose by around 36% from October 2020 to April 2021. The deficit in Indonesia in April and May was cited to be 265,349 tons. Though the reference price for corn with a moisture content of 15 percent was pegged at IDR 3,150 ($0.22) per kilogram, it was reportedly selling for IDR 4,500 ($0.31) per kg in April. This is up by 6.52% from March 2021 prices of about Rp.4,002 ($0.28) per kg. See original article here

Sinjai aims to become hybrid maize hub: April 19: The Sinjai Regency Government and Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture's Cereal Research Institute have entered into  a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate in research, development and utilization of science and technology for cereal crops to support agriculture. The MoU will support efforts by the Sinjai Regency Government to develop maize cultivation as an alternative to rain-dependent rice cultivation, which has suffered. By switching to maize, it is hoped that farmers would benefit by not only producing seeds for their own groups, but also for selling to other private parties and farmer groups in other regions. It is hoped that in the future Sinjai could become a producer of quality corn seeds in South Sulawesi. The collaboration has is commencing with the breeding of hybrid corn seeds in Bulupoddo District in area of ​​55 hectares, with plans to increase this to 100 hectares. Original news here as well as here

Nearly 150k palm seedlings sold through app: April 19: Through to mid-April 2021, PT Perkebunan Nusantara V has reported the selling of nearly 144,978 certified “superior palm seedlings” through the Android-based application "Sawit Rakyat Online" (SRO). The number of seedlings was reportedly sold out in the period of just a month and a half, following the late-February launch of the SRO application developed by the state-owned plantation company. See Indonesian news here, as well as here

Pangandaran farmers get rice seeds assistance: April 18: Farmer groups in the Pangandaran Regency , West Java, have been distributed superior rice seeds for the coming planting season. The provision of rice seed assistance is part of efforts to increase the productivity and quality of food products of farmers

Assistance is facilitated through the Agriculture Office of Pangandaran Regency and in accordance with applications submitted by the groups. Two types of seeds distributed include,  the “Inpari 42” type, which is for land with sufficient water availability; and the “Inpago 8” type, which is more drought tolerant. Original news here

Mukomuko additional rice seed assistance request: April 17: The Mukomuko Regency Government, through the Mukomuko Regency Agriculture Office has requested for additional superior rice seed assistance in order to more than 1,500 hectares of rice fields across a number of districts, which are designated for the second planting season of paddy rice. This assistance is proposed for farmers in Air Manjuto, V Koto, Selagan Raya and Malin Deman districts. The request for additional assistance follows an initial round of assistance for the first planting season, which will cover an area of ​​2,000 hectares. See original story here

Bekasi seed, water and fertilizer support: April 16:  As part of ongoing efforts to help farmers and bolster agricultural productivity, the Bekasi Regency Government is providing reinforcement for seeds, water and fertilizer. See original story here

Q1 News

Katuju hybrid corn praized in Tala: March 3: For some time, Tanah Laut (Tala) District has been an important corn granary of South Kalimantan Province. As for the future, the district will be at the forefront of the development of this staple commodity thanks to locally produced, superior quality corn seeds -- namely, the JH37 Katuju hybrid corn seed variety, which is produced by a corporation with PT Tunas Widji Inti Nayottama (TWIN), Kediri, East Java Province. Breeding of the variety  in Tala began in 2019 under the guidance of the Maros Cereals Research and Development Center, South Sulawesi, in collaboration with PT TWIN for packaging and marketing of seeds produced by Tala farmers. Details in original news here

Flood indundates rice crop in Mandastana: Mar 2: Flooding over a month-long perior has destroyed superior rice plants in a number of villages in Mandastana District, Barito Kuala, Puso. According to data from the Mandastana sub-district agricultural extension agency, there were 1,425.98 hectares of superior rice plants planted across 7 villages in Mandastana sub-district, including in Karang Bunga Village, Karang Indah Village, Puntik Dalam Village, Central Puntik Village, Tebing Rimbah Village, Pantai Hambawang Village and Antasan Soon villages. As a result of the flood, the rice plants partially rotted and some of the surviving rice plants also succumbed. Original news here

Floods submerge rice crops in Hulu Sungai Selatan District: Feb 23: The South Hulu Sungai District Government in South Kalimantan is providing seed assistance to farmers whose crops have been affected by flooding. A total of 1,835 hectares of rice fields were flooded with some areas still submerged. Initial assistance included 2.5 tons of rice seeds for 100 hectares of rice fields. The submerged areas included Angkinang, Kandangan, Padang Batung, Kalumpang, Simpur, and Telaga Langsat sub-districts. Original story in Indonesian here and here 

Growing fruit and ornamental plants with tissue culture: Feb 18: New techniques of tissue culture have been developed to target crops of fruit and ornamental plants, such as orchids. Tissue culture is used to obtain uniform plant seeds with the same quality of the parent. For fruit trees the ministry has developed tissue culture methods for 80 types of bananas, and are also developing tissue cultures for grapes and taro. Original story in Indonesian here 

Corn seed aid for Gorontalo Province: February 16: The Agency for Agricultural Research and Development is preparing 4 tons of corn seeds to aid farmers in Gorontalo Province. There are three types of corn seeds that will be provided, HJ 21, Nasa 29 and Bima 20, which are fast maturing and drought resistant. Original story in Indonesian  here and here

South Sulawesi as a 'corn seed granary': Feb 16: Video report South Sulawesi Governor Nurdin Abdullah declared South Sulawesi Province, and Bone Regency in particular, as a “granary” for corn seeds for eastern Indonesia. Governor Nurdin stated that he hopes that farmers will no longer face difficulty obtaining seeds.Watch video in Indonesian here 

Urban farming trend spurs seed sales: Feb 11: Urban farming is a new trend and activity that is gaining in popularity, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic as people stay at home more. Director General of Horticulture Prihasto Setyanto sees the growth of urban farming in the past year as an extraordinary phenomenon that has caused a fivefold increase in the sale of seeds, both for vegetable crops and ornamental plants. The export of ornamental plants has also increased by three times, growing from 105 million in 2019 to over 333 million in 220. In support of this trend, the Directorate General of Horticulture has launched urban farming initiatives and assistance the form of chili and shallot seeds, organic fertilizers and environmentally friendly pest control. Original story in Indonesian here 

Maize targets for West Sumatra: January 24: Corn production in West Sumatra Province in 2020 amounted to 935,716 tons, or less than 59,465 tons from the production target of 995,201 tons, or 94.02 percent. Part of the reason for the shortfall is the adoption of rice farming on land previously to grow maize. Demand for corn in West Sumatra amounts to 1.2 million tons per year, meaning a shortfall of local maize production of 200,000 tons per year. To further increase production the West Sumatra Provincial Government will target the utilisation of idle land, which has now reached 200,000 hectares. Original story in Indonesian here

ASBENINDO Chairman re-elected at 2021 Congress: The Indonesian Seed Association (ASBENINDO) on February 23rd 2021, held its Congress, which is organized once every five years. During the Congress, the association reelected its chairman, Mr. Ricky Gunawan, whose new tenure will be from 2021-2026. The Congress has mandated that the chairman within three months organize the management of association for the 2021-2026 period, so that the new management can improve and implement articles of association, projects, programs and other association activities and matters. For more details about ASBENINDO, see here.

The Ministry of Agriculture touts development of superior soybean varieties: February 22: Currently under development in North Sulawesi, the Devon 1 and Detap 1 varieties have shown high productivity and resistance to pod breaking. Resulting in higher yields. More details in Indonesian news here.

Domestic super soybean seed producers aim to reduce dependence on soybean imports: February 19: A domestic seed company has been able to produce seeds with a very high productivity, reaching 3.2 tons per hectare, a large increase compared to average local soybean production of 1.2 tons per hectare. A pilot demonstration took place on a 10 hectare plot in Jember Regency. The company will further expand the planting area for superior quality soybean seeds in demonstration plots in Malang and Bondowoso with a total production target of around 100 tons of seeds per year. See news here.

Improving Katamobagu rice varieties prioritized: January 2021: The Kotamobagu government, through the Kotamobagu Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DPP) will prioritize local rice seed purification programs in 2021. The aim is to ensure that Serayu rice from the Bolaang Mongondow Raya regency (BMR) is immediately registered with the Ministry of Agriculture (Kementan) and thus made available as a superior commodity in BMR. To achieve this, the Kotamobagu DPP will cooperate with the North Sulawesi (North Sulawesi) Province Supervision and Certification Testing Center in selection and improvement of local rice varieties. More in Indonesian here

National soybean seed multiplication program commences: January 2021: The Ministry of Agriculture has prepared six ‘superior’ soybean varieties to be sown in the coming 200 days through to August. The six varieties are named Detap 1, Dega 1, Dena 1, Dering 1, Anjasmoro and Grobogan, respectively and are the result of development from the Ministry of Agriculture's Balitkabi Seed Management Unit (UPBS) and would be harvested by April, July and November 2021. Based on Indonesia’s national soybean program covering an area of ​​125,000 hectares, 1,788 kilograms of Breeder Seeds will be multiplied into as much as 28,611 kilograms of Foundation Seeds, which will be further multiplied into more planting material by the Food Crops Seed Center (BPTP). More details here

Superior seeds to be traced by barcodes: January 2021: The Provincial Government of South Kalimantan, through the Center for Supervision and Certification of Seeds, the Office of Food Crops and Horticulture of South Kalimantan Province, are piloting a new system of seed label barcodes. It is believed that all provinces in Indonesia will adopt the model as part of the national plant seed labeling process. Prior to this, all premium or ‘superior’ quality seed units had been required to be assigned unique identity number. The serial numbers will now be upgraded into bar codes for better track and tracing capability nationwide. Read more in Indonesian article here


2020 News


Unauthorized seeds intercepted in West Papua: December 2020:
Officers of the Sorong Agricultural Quarantine Station in West Papua announced  they have destroyed unauthorized imported crop and plant seeds that were intercepted in the post. These include vegetable seeds and roses from Malaysia, ornamental plant seeds from China, pistachio nuts from New Zealand, as well as philodendron and aglaonema seeds from the Solomon Islands. Officials said the seeds and plant material were not accompanied by a Plant Health Certificate,  Phytosanitary Certificate or an Import Permit from the Minister of Agriculture as required by law, and owners of the parcels were not identified. More details in Indonesian here

Covid 19 seed assistance for horticulture farmers: December 2020:
To address the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on food security and the economy, especially regarding horticultural farmers, the Ministry of Agriculture through the Director of Seeds of the Directorate General of Horticulture has provided seed assistance to farmers in 71 districts / cities across Indonesia. For the Bengkalis Regency, the seed assistance has been channeled through the Bengkalis Regency Agriculture Service (Distan) and covers 10 types of seeds, including those for cayenne pepper, curly chili, sweet corn, cucumber, long beans, Kangkung, eggplant, spinach and watermelon. More details here and here.  

Minister of Agriculture supports ornamental plant output: December 2020:
Indonesia’s Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo has echoed support to bolster production of ornamental plants. Through to the second quarter of 2020, output of ornamental plants reached 342,422,645 pieces, while the export volume reached 4,176,294 kg, which yielded US$ 12.1 million in value. More details here

East Java aero-seeding reforestation. December 2020:
The Governor of East Java Khofifah Indar Parawansa has endorsed aero-seeding reforestation efforts to restore degraded land. Using helicopters, some 3.5 tons of plant seeds were sown around Mount Arjuno, Mount Wilis and Mount Kawi. The types of seeds that are spread include sengon (Buto, Tekik), tamarind, wadang, trengguli, suren, tamarind clerek, saga, indigofera, teak, mahogany, spathodea, acacia, tailings, maton, guava, longan, jackfruit, vertiver, lamtoro and maesopsis.  "Aero-seeding is the most appropriate method for revegetating the environment, especially in areas that are difficult to reach by land, for example in mountainous areas," said Khofifah. Read more in Indonesian here

Counterfeit corn seed syndicate interrupted: December 2020:
Three persons have been arrested as suspects of “a network of counterfeiters of superior corn seeds with billions of rupiah in turnover”. The suspects, aged 36, 32 and 34, are accused of duping farmers in the Bangil District (Pasuruan Regency, East Java) with counterfeit corn seeds, when yields that did not live up to expectations. The suspected corn seeds were seeds and an investigation determined that the seeds were ‘counterfeit’. Two more suspects are at large: Read more details in Indonesian here

Riau boosts rice target for 2021: December 2020:
The Riau Provincial Government (Pemprov) via the Food, Food Crops and Horticulture Service (DPTPH) has set a rice production target for 2021 to be 214,210 tons, which would be about 34 percent of the anticipated domestic consumption demand.  In 2019, Riau's rice production reached 23.6 percent or as much as 147,090 tons of the total rice consumption needs of Riau residents which reached 623,274 tons. In order to meet the new target, “local superior seeds” will be promoted and it is planned to “increase the cropping index from a raw area of ​​62,689 hectares of rice fields to two crops a year by optimizing land and improving irrigation networks, implementing agricultural mechanization” More details in Indonesian news here

Promoting hybrid rice to boost yields, reduce seed requirement: December 2020:
Among the many types of superior rice seeds now available, farmers in Indonesia are being encouraged to consider hybrid rice seeds. However, according to this news media report, the use of hybrid rice among farmers is still not optimal, owing to the higher price of hybrid rice seeds, which farmers consider too expensive. Nonetheless, advocates point out that hybrid rice varieties could increase yields by up to 25-30%, which could underline the prospect of up to 12 tons per hectare. The price of hybrid rice seeds was said to range from Rp. 80 thousand to Rp. 150 thousand per kg. This is compared to the price of inbred rice seeds, of about IDR 10,000 per kg. However, the seed requirement is much less (due to higher quality, germination, et el): for hybrid rice seeds, only one rice seed is needed per planting hole, while inbred rice seeds need at least 2-3 seeds per planting hole. Thus, the hybrid rice seed requirement for one hectare is only 15 kg, compared to 25 kg of inbred rice seeds per hectare.

Quality corn seeds distributed as economic aid: December 2020:
Dozens of farmer groups in Rote Ndao Regency have received 11,250 tons of corn seed assistance as part of the government assistance program. The seeds were procured and distributed after farmers complained of a lack of quality corn seeds during the ongoing economic recess. They complained about the lack of seeds. Report in Indonesian news here.

Cooperative Farmers protest ‘inferior’ rice seed: December 2020:
A state-owned farmers cooperative has claimed it suffered “hundreds of millions of rupiah” in losses due to a Seed Trial Program. Seeds were expected to yield between 10 and 12 tons of rice per hectare, but the cooperative claims it was only able to achieve 4-6 tons per hectare. An investigation and negotiations are ongoing. Indonesian news here

Superior shallot, onion seeds distributed as Covid relief: December 2020:
The price of shallots in Indonesia this year is very high compared to the previous year, owing in part to the failure of the onion harvest linked to flooding earlier in the year as well as Covid-19 related complications. In response, the Ministry of Agriculture is expanding  shallot cultivation via distribution of superior “True Shallot Seeds” in affected areas in East Java and West Java. The superior seeds reduce bulb storage burdens, and can also provide better yields than saved bulbs. Moreover, in East Java, there are several onion planting centers that have started shifting to seeds over tubers. More details in Indonesian here

More superior corn seeds requested for Mukomuko: December 2020:
The Agriculture Office of Mukomuko Regency, Bengkulu Province, has requested assistance in the form of superior corn seeds, proposed to be planted on some 1,500 hectares of agricultural land. The area of ​​agricultural land proposed to receive superior corn seed assistance was previously reported to be 1,447 hectares, but the figure was adjusted to be 1,500 hectares. More details here

University Hasanuddin and ICDF link up for quality rice seed R&D: December 2020:
To support the development of quality rice seeds in Eastern Indonesia, University Hasanuddin’s Faculty of Agriculture has engaged the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) Taiwan. Furthermore, the Faculty of Agriculture has conducted paddy seed breeding activities in seven districts in South Sulawesi, such as Gowa, Sidrap, Pinrang, and Soppeng, with a land area covering ​​approximately 330 hectares. Read more details here



Local swears by unconventional way of cultivating quality vanilla

KOTAMOBAGU:  a resident of Upai Village in the Kotamobagu Utara District of North Sulawesi has come up with a unique way of cultivating vanilla plants using using concrete poles as planting media with paranet shade to protect from pest attacks. According to him, as reported here, the method is very effective, not only for the plants’ growth but in preserving quality of the crop, and thus commanding a good price. Conventional methods of growing vanilla utilize other living trees, which is precisely what makes the quality and thus price fall, since the fragrance is absorbed by the tree. 

Met warns that August cold weather could harm crops, elderly

MALANG - The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) Karangploso Climatology Station in Malang Regency has cautioned locals to look after themselves and take necessary precaution to protect crops in August, as temperatures are expected to plummet. As of early August, the lowest temperature in this area had dipped to 14 degrees Celsius. According to this report, cold temperatures in the dry season are commonplace, with cooler weather usually lasting from May to September. The lowest temperatures vary each year, but have been particularly cold in recent years, with reports of frost. 

Funds to boost agriculture, food crops and horticulture: ‘Quality seeds key’ 

SOUTH SULAWESI: The Ministry of Agriculture has approved financial assistance for the agriculture sector worth IDR10.8 billion ($735,000). This includes IDR 4.7 bn ($421,600) for the horticulture sector, IDR2.7 bn ($184,700) for food crops; IDR538 million ($36,815) for plantations, as well as funds for various other projects. According to the Indonesia Monitor, the ministry is pushing for farmers to grow more corn, rice, vegetables, garlic and fruits in addition to more livestock. Moreover, according to this report, the Minister of Agriculture, “is aggressively pushing to increase production of staple food” to mitigate any potential supply issues in the wake of the ongoing pandemic, with an emphasis on diversifying local foods such as sago, cassava, corn, taro, potatoes and bananas. Meanwhile, The Director General of Horticulture, during a recent visit to a Horticultural Crops Center in the Gowa Regency of South Sulawesi Province stated that quality seeds would be critical to success in increasing production and competitiveness by as much as 50% . Regarding the supply of quality seeds, the chief said the role of the Horticultural Centers (BBH) located throughout Indonesia would be vital, revealing that from 2021, the fulfillment of horticultural quality seed needs will be provided directly by the BBH. "

Jambi Coffee gains cultivation momentum, export potential 

Farmers in the village of Sepintun, Pauh District of Sarolangun Regency are increasingly cultivating liberika coffee plants. The farmers get support from consultants of a Cappa Foundation as part of local sustainable development efforts According to this report, citing data from the Jambi Provincial Government, Kerinci Regency recently exported 15.9 tons of coffee to Singapore via Talang Duku Port, Jambi.

Watermelon productivity for pandemic resilience

DUALANG: As part of covid resilience efforts, plans are being initiated to grow watermelon on 30 hectares of land in the Dualang District in the Siak Regency of Riau Province, on the island of Sumatra. The target for the cultivation is to achieve 15 t/ha productivity, according to this article.

Orchid grower in Kendal sees covid sales boost

One orchid enthusiast in the Kendal Regency of Central Java is sparking interest in orchid cultivation after sales of his flowers reportedly rose by 50% during the pandemic period. According to this article, the farmer maintains that maintaining orchids is not difficult and the plants are cultivated using media such as mosses or ferns. Organic fertilizer (compost) can easily be made using peels of oranges or bananas as well as used rice-washing water and fermented aloe vera.



Unemployed Bali workers returning home to farm

In the wake of coronavirus-induced economic turmoil, thousands of unemployed workers have returned to the village for sustenance farming. According to an article on New York Times, Bali’s tourism industry has been devastated after the popular tropical island destination banned foreign travellers between March and May. Left with no income or food, workers have returned to villages to grow crops.

IPM and EWS to aid in garlic self-sufficiency push

The Office of Communication and Information of the Province of East Java has published an article highlighting the implementation of Early Warning Systems (EWS) and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in order to mitigate crop loss risks and thus improve self sufficiency for garlic. According to the article in Indonesian, the Directorate General of Horticulture’s forecast production during the current June-October cropping period to reach 28,910 tons, which would be entirely used as seed for subsequent cropping.

‘Food Crop’ Tissue Culture lab inaugurated in Pekalongan

A new Tissue Culture Laboratory in the Central Javan city of Pekalongan was inaugurated by the local government on July 22. The laboratory will be managed by the Department of Agriculture and Food of Pekalongan City and will support the development of food crops. Indonesian news here.

Quality Management System Certification for ‘Superior Seeds’

The Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture is encouraging the utilization of “superior seeds” through seed certification, and quality management systems. As conveyed during a recent webinar to address economic issues during the ongoing pandemic, an official from the Directorate of Horticultural Germination said that through to May 2020 there were as many as 3,009 horticultural varieties registered with the Ministry of Agriculture for distribution. These varieties consist of 868 varieties from 44 fruit crop commodities, 1,816 varieties from 39 vegetable crop commodities, 30 varieties from 10 medicinal plant commodities, and 295 varieties from 19 ornamental plant commodities. The article notes that according to the Ministry of Agriculture Regulation No. 48 of 2012, seeds from varieties that have been released / registered that are to be distributed must go through seed certification. The certification process is carried out by government agenciesas well as individuals / legal entities that have obtained a quality system certificate from the Institute of Food Crops and Horticultural Seed Quality System Certification (LSSM-BTPH). Until now there have been 32 seed producers and government agencies that already have a Quality Management System (SSM) certificate.

Moringa leaf production encouraged in Sidoarjo

A politician is encouraging the development of Moringa plant cultivation in parts of Sidoarjo, East Java, citing the strong demand abroad and thus export potential. According to this Indondesian article,  there is a capacity to produce 40 tons of moringa leaves per week, whih would fill about 20% of the current export demand. 

R&D yields promising onion, shallot varieties for commercialization

As part of efforts to stabilize supply and prices of onions and shallots, IPB University has conducted promising research which has been deemed a national priority. The research is a continuation of previous research conducted by the Center for Tropical Horticulture Studies (PKHT) Institute for Research and Community Service (LPPM) IPB University, which is looking at promising shallot and onion varieties that could be suitable alternatives to imported varieties.  The Tajuk shallot variety is a productive lowland species that can yield 16 tons per hectare and is suitable in the dry and rain-resistant seasons, with adaptation areas in the lowlands of Nganjuk Regency, East Java. In addition, research was also conducted on shallots of SS Sakato variety, which can reportedly yield 28 tons per hectare and can thrive in the highlands of Solok Regency, West Sumatra. Seeds of these new varieties are not yet available in large quantities. Next, commercialization research activities will engage seed producers, farmers, processed shallot producers and consumers. Field trials will be carried out in farmer’s gardens with seeds and production facilities provided by the activity manager, while land and labor are provided by partner farmers. New varieties of shallot seeds will be mass produced in collaboration with breeder farmers or seed producers.The varieties obtained and the technology developed will be commercialized in several production centers through collaboration with producers or seed breeders. Production technology will be tested in Solok and Nganjuk.  At present the production of shallots in Indonesia is dominated by Brebes Regency, Central Java, which accounts for about 19.32 percent of national production.Any disruptions in production can have an impact on market prices. Such volatility can be addressed by spreading out production centers that have different land and climate characteristics than Brebes.

Onion and shallot cultivation in West Lampung

A number of farmer groups — including women and youth groups — across West Lampung, Sumatra will see through programs to boost onion and shallot cultivation. According to a horticulture official cited in this Indonesian article in July, a shortage of garlics and shallots is anticipated this year. Garlic cultivation will be carried out in Lumbok Seminung Subdistrict as well as in the Sedampah Pekon and Padangcahya Pekon Balikbukit District. In addition, shallot cultivation will be carried out in various locations, inluding in Pekon Kagungan (Lumbok Seminung), Pekon Bahway (Balikbukit), Kotabesi (Batubrak) and Tigajaya (Sekincau).

Farmers in East Luwu Regency short on ‘superior seeds’ for rice sowing target

A horticulture official at the East Luwu Agriculture Office says there is a strong need for superior rice seeds in East Luwu. According to this Indonesian article, in order to meet targets to sow 21 thousand hectares of paddy, there is a need of 525 thousand kilograms of seed; however, at time of press, the office had only received 275 thousand kgs of seed from the Central government . This supplied seed was only enough to plant 11 thousand hectares of paddy fields, and if they community didn’t get superior government paddy seeds, the remaining ​​10,000 hectares would be planted by farm-saved seeds.

West Sumatra Gov hopes to increase rice productivity to 9 tons/ha

The West Sumatra Governor has urged stakeholders to cooperate in order to increase rice yields from to 8-9 tons per hectare, up from current average yields of 5-6 tons per hectare. The governor, Irwan Prayitno, made comments, together with West Sumatra Regional Police Chief Inspector General of Police Toni Harmanto, presiding over a rice harvest event in Nagari Minangkabau, Sungayang District, Tanahdatar Regency in early July. News here.

New high-yielding, disease-resistant upland rice variety released

The Ministry of Agriculture (Kementan) through the Agricultural Research and Development Agency (Balitbangtan) has released a new high-yielding “superior rice variety”:  Biobestari Agritan is upland rice which has an average productivity of 5.8 tons per hectare with a potential yield of up to 7.5 tons per hectare. According to this article, the national productivity of upland rice in Indonesia is currently around 4 tons per hectare. In addition to high productivity and yield potential, the new variety also has advantages in resistance to bacterial leaf blight (HDB), blast resistance, tolerance to aluminum poisoning and drought tolerance.

Banyuasin strives to be number one in rice through quality seeds, inputs 

The Regent of Banyuasin H Askolani SH MH is determined for his regency to become “the number one region as a national rice producer.”. According to this article, the Banyuasin Regency is currently the 4th largest rice-producing region, and the Banyuasin Regency Government will optimize four or five Districts that have high potential to be developed as food crop areas These four districts are Rantau Bayur, Rambutan, Tungkal Ilir, and Penuguan Strait Districts. “These four districts have enormous potential, but so far they have not been managed optimally and have not been touched by technology. As revealed by Askolani, Rantau Bayur Subdistrict has a planting area of ​​16,337 hectares, Rambutan District of 5,009 hectares, Tungkal Ilir 1,764 hectares and Strait of Penuguan 12,710 hectares and the planting area can still be developed further. Likewise, the Banyuasin III District with an area of ​​1,239 hectares can still be developed because many areas of rice fields have not been well managed so far. The future target, said Askolani, is in 2019 planting area of ​​213,813 hectares and by 2020 it will be able to reach an area of ​​263,368 hectares so that the harvested area and production will increase to 1,309,598 tons of MPD or the equivalent of 750,399 tons to maintain the National Food Barn,” the Regent was quoted. To reach the target will require increasing the use of quality seeds, fertilizer, soil management and processing, machinery pesticides and improving water management, waterways, water gates and dykes.

 Vegetables to improve food security in Pariaman

This Indonesian article highlights efforts in Pariman city in in West Sumatra to improve local food security through the planting of various vegetables in a community demonstration plot, including spinach, kale, eggplants, string beans, cayenne pepper and some fruits.

Harvest of Seed Potato demo in West Sumatra

The West Sumatra Agricultural Technology Study Board (BPTP) completed its first harvest of seed potato, together with the Head of the Seed Supervision and Certification Center (BPSB) on an area of ​​0.8 hectares in the Sukarami Experimental Farm Science Park, Solok Regency on July 10. News here

Soybean production on the up in Maros

Attending a soybean harvest activity on 92 hectares in the Leang-Leang Village, Bantimurung District, Maros Regency on an area of ​​92 ha on July 14 was the Regent of Maros, Director of Various Beans and Tubers of the Ministry of Agriculture, Head of the Food Crops, Horticulture and Plantation Office of South Sulawesi Province. Soybean cultivation in the Leang-leang village is capable of producing Argomulyo soybeans that yield about 2 tons / ha. In his remarks, Maros Regent HM Hatta Rahman stated that there were 5 sub-districts that developed soybeans in Maros, one of which was in Bantimurung sub-district whose potential reached 150 ha. One of the obstacles to developing soybeans is low productivity making it less profitable for farmers. To address this, the regent said his office had asked the Ministry of Agriculture to develop new seeds of higher-yielding varieties. The Ministry of Research and Development has reportedly developed a variety of large-seeded Biosoy soybean that yields 2.4 tons / ha. Although production of soybeans in South Sulawesi Province has generally declined, for Maros Regency in the last three years production has increased, from ​​800-900 tons in 2017 to 1,013 tons in 2018, a y-o-y increase of 13.7%, and to to 1,049 tons in 2019, a 3.5% increase. In 2020 the trend is expected to continue with the Ministry of Agriculture allocating 200 hectares of assistance to Maros Regency. News here

In related news, on July 16, the Director General of Food Crops of the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture said that is necessary to develop superior soybean varieties that exceed the 3 tons per hectare threshold, reported here.

MAY 2020

Seeds of high-yielding, drought-tolerant maize varieties for East Nusa Tenggara 

To reinforce food and livelihood security of cattle ranchers and corn farmers during the ongoing Covid-19 stranglehold on the economy, the Ministry of Agriculture’s Cereals Plant Research Institute is distributing 15 tonnes of drought-tolerant maize seed to farmers in East Nusa Tenggara. The seed includes five varieties developed by the Agricultural Research and Development Agency. Yields average between 12 and 13.6 tonnes per hectare. Antara News reports

Pangdeglang receives 10 tonnes of maize seed

The Pandeglang District Agriculture Office, in the Banten Regency on the island of Java, is distributing superior hybrid corn seeds to farmers to accelerate corn planting. Assistance from the Ministry of Agriculture (called ‘Kementan’) amounts to 10.2 tonnes — sufficient for ​​680 hectares (ha). The accelerated planting results from a directive by the Minister of Agriculture (called ‘Mentan’), Syahrul Yasin Limpo, in anticipation of a world food crisis.

Crops, planting data for Maros, South Sulawesi 

Areas under cultivation in the Maros Regency of Indonesia’s South Sulawesi Province have reached 26,205 hectares, with predicted production of 295,800 tons. The April-September target is 20,000 ha, of which 65 percent has now been reached. Specifically, in May, approximately 7,000 ha of the 8,312 ha target was reached — or approximately 84 percent. Planting will continue until the end of May. The rice fields planted are irrigated, with twice-yearly harvests, and average yields of 6 tonnes per ha. South Sulawesi plantings cover an area of ​​115 thousand hectares, with 86.5 thousand hectares of paddy. 9,500 hectares have been developed for dry land cultivation; 17,000 for swamp land cultivation; and 1,450 for residual free rice cultivation. Under a government program allocating rice seed assistance for 2 million ha, 1,200 ha in the Maros Regency are assisted. 

BPTP Kepri chili cultivation innovation

BPTP Kepri (the Assessment Institute for Agricultural Technology Indonesia) is providing technical guidance to chili farmers, including farm visits, with the aim of increasing production. Assistance in Tanjung Pinang, on the island of Bintan in the Riau Islands, began with the planting season last December and lasted through May. Technical guidance was carried out four times: before planting, during planting, while growing, and at harvest. Field visits occurred roughly once a week, depending on crop conditions. Monitoring was carried out also via phone apps. Co-op farmers were provided technical manuals for chili cultivation. The half-hectare demonstration plot featured: soil management; fertilizer fermentation on land for a minimum of 21 days’ mulch use; seedbeds treated with pesticides and fungicides; integrated pest and disease control; basic and supplementary fertilization on vegetation; and generative methods for leaching, watering and harvesting. On 17 May, 4,112 kg of green chili had been harvested, with another 600 kg of red chili still in the field.

Women’s group develops organic chilis 

Some 40 women in the hamlet of Takedan, on the island of Bali, are developing various organic fruits and vegetables on a 2-acre plot as a hedge against food shortages during the Covid-19 pandemic. Their demonstration plot was initiated in 2019, thereafter receiving help from the central government for nurseries and development of organic plants. The women mostly visit their gardens afternoons after finishing housework. Plants grow well in the cool weather — chilis notably well, but also eggplant, bitter melon, and cucumber. Their crops, say the women, have eased household expenses during the Covid-19 pandemic and afforded confidence that they will always have enough to meet needs in the kitchen.

Gardening in Klungkung as a hedge against Covid-19

Orders are flooding into nurseries in Klungkung on the island of Bali as people take to gardening as a hedge against food shortages during the pandemic. Popular items include chili seed. The Puspa Sari Women’s Farmers Group chairman in Tusan Village says there are quite a lot of orders for plant seeds from residents: “Many workers who were laid off — rather than remaining stunned — have started gardening,” she said.

Preserving cassava’s genetic wealth locally

In October 2019, BPTP Kepri (the Assessment Institute for AgriculturalTechnology Indonesia) and associated agencies began collecting genetic information on varieties of cassava local to Bintan and the Riau Islands. As a result, “several local superior varieties are being developed, including varieties of Monggo Bintani, Bintani Heart, Sapat Hitam Gemilang and Sappat Putih Gemilang… on cassava plantations…[covering] 50 ha…[and] the cassava harvest will be in August 2020.”

South Sumatra and the Banyuasin Regency brace for food security

Banyuasin Regency in South Sumatra is one district capable of maintaining food security despite challenges arising from the Covid-19 plague. The regency contributes  up to 33% of South Sumatra’s food supply, and is important nationally. As a result, plantings have been accelerated to meet anticipated needs. The target is to plant 53,013 hectares from April to September 2020. Agricultural land in Banyuasin covers 174,371 hectares including 148,658 hectares in tidal swamps and 25,713 hectares in lebak swamps. The total area of agricultural land available in South Sumatra Province is around 510,557 hectares.

North Sumatra’s North Tapanuli Regency maize seed distribution 

The government in North Tapanuli Regency (Taput), North Sumatra distributed 154,500 kilograms of corn seeds to 447 farmer groups in 11 districts for planting on ​​10,300 hectares as part of a national food security program. Agriculture officers are expected to innovate and build enthusiasm among farmers as means of building food and livestock security, supported by mechanization, a good location, planting season and cropping patterns.

Installation of bamboo trellises and railings to combat Covid-19

The Task Force (Satgas) Food Security Covid-19 Lantamal VI is building bamboo rails and trellises to aid in propagating pumpkin, tomatoes, chili and string beans, among other vegetables, in Biringkanaya District, Makassar. Land is first hoed to clear weeds, then plowed using a tractor, and some thousands of cassava seedlings planted. To propagate the vegetables, bamboo slits, with a height of 1.5 – 2 meters, are placed close to the planting hole, to keep the plants from spreading out.

Cultivating strawberry to keep Covid-19 at bay

To show what can be achieved even during a pandemic, government workers in the Humbang Hasundutan Regency (Humbahas) are planting strawberry which successfully bears fruit on a narrow strip of land around their headquarters using plastic bags and organic Bios 41 fertilizer.

Covid-19 food security through greenhouses and aquaponics

Efforts to maintain and improve food security by government during the pandemic in Timur District include using vacant land to grow produce and building fish ponds. Elsewhere, the Central Kalimantan Regional Police food security program included building a greenhouse at Command Headquarters (Mako) in Ditpolairud Belanti Village. It is touted as “a breakthrough in maggot cultivation”. Meanwhile, aquaponic fisheries have been created at the Polairud headquarters in East Kotawaringin.

APRIL 2020

Dharmasraya paddy a surplus thanks to good seeds

The agriculture office of the Dharmasraya Regency has assured there will be sufficient rice supply in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Langgam Indonesia, 8 thousand hectares of paddy fields had been sown in the regency through to April 2020, which is anticipated to yield 40 thousand tonnes of grain. To increase production, the Dept of Agriculture has supported farmers with “superior seeds”, including one special variety (M70D) which is touted to yield 8.8 tonnes per hectare, about double standard yields, with ongoing trials looking to increase this further. 

Purworejo farmers distributed certified superior rice, corn and soya seeds

Initiatives to address food security during the covid-19 pandemic are being carried out in the Purworejo Regency in the form of staple grain seed support. According to, officials have distributed rice seeds for the second planting season of 2020, which will be used to plant 4,000 hectares. Furthermore, the government has allocated a budget to increase corn production with a target of 2,664 hectares of landowners. In addition, soybean cultivation programs will also be distributed to an area of ​​1,000 hectares in 16 districts.

‘Bio-soy’ varieties to fortify food security

‘Biosoy’ is a highlight of Indonesia’s  latest efforts to attain food self-sufficiency, with the Agriculture Research and Development Agency procuring soybean seeds for distribution in five target provinces: Central Java, Yagyakarta, East Java, West Nusa Tenggara and South Sulawesi. The seeds reportedly can deliver plants that yield 3.5 tonnes per hectare, up to 18% higher than the usual, reports Antara News

Ministry of Ag released ‘superior’ cotton seeds

Republika Indonesia reports that the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture has released several new high-yielding and high-fibre “superior” varieties of cotton, citing the need and push to strengthen the local industry which has been plagued by low productivity

Maize harvest in South Sulawesi satisfactory reports that the governor of South Sulawesi has confirmed the satisfaction of successful trials of two hybrid maize varieties in Soppeng Regency and Bantaeng Regency. 

RGL tangerines in high demand

Tangerines from Bermani Ulu Raya District, in the Rejang Lebong Regency of  Bengkulu are enjoying strong demand and high prices for farmers. According to Republika Indonesia, usually farmgate prices for the citrus fruit would be falling, but since March the area has been the center of “superior tangerine production” especially for the the Rimau Gerga Lebong (RGL) variety, which has has enjoyed strong preference in the increasingly immune-boosting conscious market. Accordingly, no less than 500 hectares of RGL tangerines have been planted by farmers in their area. Of this, 200 hectares are undergoing harvest through to MAy, with the next harvest season to commence October-November. 

Paddy cultivation bolstered in Riau Islands 

The Anambas Islands regency government is working with provincial officials of the Riau Islands to support rice cultivation preparations in March and April ahead of transplanting, planned for this June, reports local news. In related news, government officials have begun distributing paddy seeds to farmers in a number of districts and subdistricts in the Indragiri Hulu Regency of Riau, on the island of Sumatra, reports 

Disease, pest- resistant paddy varieties released

In early 2020, the Agricultural Research and Development Agency, Indonesian Center for Rice Research (BBPadi) has released new “INPARI 48 BlAS” varieties, which were bred by crossing varieties resistant to brown plant hopper with varieties shown to be resistant to leaf blast disease. The new varieties reportedly have an average yield of MPD of 7.64 tons per hectare with a potential yield of 9.13 tons per hectare. News here.

MARCH 2020

Indonesia govt drafting regulation for regional lockdowns to ensure open access of supplies

The Star Malaysia cites an unamed minister in saying the central government is expediating work on a regulation to stipulate the requirements and procedures for declaring regional lockdowns. The regulation is initiated in accordance with Article 10 of the 2018 Health Quarantine Law. The minister says the planned regulation might urge regions imposing lockdowns to open access for distribution of supplies during the quarantine period.

10 million palm oil farmers could be impoverished by total lockdown

The farmers have appealed to President Joko Widodo not to impose a total lockdown. Widodo said confining people to their homes would not be his priority, but he would focus on urging governors, regents and mayors to provide basic food supplies for people on low incomes, reports UCANews

Onion, garlic shortages 

After onion shipments from China had been reduced in recent months, the price of onion has reportedly rose by a factor of 10, up to as much as 170,000 rupiah per kg, while garlic has reportedly rose up to 55,000 rupiah / kg from 35,000, before stabilizing at 45,000 rupiah. The trade ministry has thus issued permits to import 2,000 tonnes of onions and 90,000 tonnes of garlic, and 2.4 million tonnes of raw sugar, to bring prices down. Last year, Indonesia imported 111,934 tonnes of onions and 465,344 tonnes of garlic, while shipping in 3.96 million tonnes of raw sugar for households and industrie, according to Reuters

50 trillion Rupiah in micro finance to stimulate food crop cultivation

The Ministry of Agriculture has has agreed to cooperate with PT Bank Negara Indonesia in the country’s micro credit program (KUR) to desperse IDR 50 trillion (about 3 billion US$) worth of funds to develop food crop cultivation, such as rice, corn and soybeans, horticulture such as chillies, fruits, as well as plantation commodities such as coffee, cocoa and livestock commodities. Indonesian report here

Dutch Indonesian cooperation in horticulture 

East West Seed Indonesia (EWINDO) received a visit from the Directorate General of Horticulture, Ministry of Agriculture (Kementan) Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Netherlands, Jan-Kees Goet at the head office and main facilities of EWINDO in Purwakarta, West Java. The visit was part of a series of activities during the visit of King Willem-Alexander and Ratu Maxima from the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Indonesia along with 130 Delegations to strengthen the cooperative relations between the Government of Indonesia and the Netherlands in the Economy, including in the agricultural sector, and specifically horticulture.


Ministry of Agriculture bolsters paddy seed multiplication reports on efforts of Indonesian public sector to support the country’s rice planting targets through certification validation, ‘seed aid’ and seed corporations. According to the article the Ministry of Agriculture has recently been carrying out rice seed certification validation measures in accordance with OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) seed scheme guidelines. Furthermore, the ministry this year is providing assistance to rice seed breeders and multiplication farmers through the distribution of Registered Seed (Benih Pokok). Specifically, 250kg of two varieties of paddy were distributed to multiplication farmers in Purbalingga Regency, while further “seed aid” this year is planned to benefit rice planting across 2.4 million hectares around the country. The article also notes that Seed Corporations were established across the country in 2019 to promote seed self-sufficiency efforts.

Pandeglang Regency rice breeding reports on rice breeding activities being carried out across 1,000 ha of land in Pandeglang Regency, as part of a Regional-Based Rice Corporation activity initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture. Breeding sites are centered in two Subdistricts, namely Patia and Sukaresmi with several varieties in focus.

169 tonnes of free paddy seed distributed to Seluma farmer groups

Bengkuluekspress reports on an initiative by the Seluma government in coordination with the Department of Agriculture, under the Ministry of Agriculture to distribute 164.9 tonnes of rice seeds to farmers in the Seluma Regency of Bengkulu Province. According to the article, the rice seeds include 6,030 kg of highland varieties to be planted across ​​352 hectares; 2,650 kg of inland varieties for planting across 106 ha; 152,475 kg o hybrid or non-hybrid varities for ​​6,792 ha and 3,750 kg of organic rice seeds for planting on ​​150 hectares. 

Ministry opens ‘Agriculture War Room’

The Jakarta Post reports on the latest efforts of Indonesia’s Agriculture Ministry to modernize, streamline and advance agricultural productivity through improved management and implementation of data sciences. According to the article the “Agriculture War Room” is a monitoring system that will “generate information on paddy fields, the fertilizer supply and harvest areas using advanced technologies like satellites, the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence.”

Sigi maize center prospects

The Sigi Regency in Central Sulawesi stands to become a major corn production center thanks to a number of seed and cropping initiatives to boost productivity there in the past few years. According to an article on … the Sigi Regency Government has encouraged farmers in 15 sub-districts to focus on maize cultivation, which has high potential thanks to fertile soil suitable for this crop. This year, the Sigi Regency Government will reportedly develop about 5,000 hectares of land for the cultivation of corn, using several select varieties that will be developed in Sigi. Among them include Sumo NK variety, which is developed in the South Dolo District and can yield up to 15 tons per hectare. In 2019​​corn planting in Sigi Regency spanned as much as 10,000 hectares with an estimated production of six tons per hectare. The price of maize at the production level ranges from Rp 2,500 to Rp 3,000 per kg, and can featch up to 7,000/kg at the retail level. Most maize sold at the Palu marke for animal feed.

Boosting chili, onion shallot productivity through quality seeds

The Ministry of Agriculture has announced targets to boost productivity of chili and shallots by 7% annually, every year through to 2024. According to an article on, the government is encouraging horticulturalists to take advantage of state resources to subsidize and finance crop cultivation of the target commodities. Moreover, the government is promoting the provisioning of superior seed varieties, application of environmentally friendly cultivation technology, irrigation and agricultural machinery. The article provides production figures and targets for chilis and shallots as follows: In 2019, production of large varieties of Indonesian capsicum (cabai besar) reached 1.27 million tons, with planting reported to have spanned 144,391 hectares ub 225 dusrrucrs of 33 provinces???, equating to productivity of 8.77 tons per hectare. The target to increase that to 1.35 million tons in 2020 and 1.77 million tons by 2024.. For smaller Indonesia chilis (Cabai rawit) production in 2019 reached 1.37 million tons, with a target in 2020 of 1.47 million tons and 1.92 million tons by 2024. This was grown across 177,581 hectares in 219 districts of 33 provinces, for productivity of 7.8 tons / hectare. Meanwhile, shallot shallot (Bawang merah) production in 2019 spanned 157,808 hectares in 175 districts of 33 provinces, with productivity averaging 9.62 tons / hectare, for a tottal 1.52 million tons. The target for 2020 is1.66 million tons and 2.13 million tons by 2024.

Superior durian seeds to be distributed to Lebak farmers

Antara Bengkulu reports on plans of a farme group in Sangkanwangi of the Lebak Regency to distribute some 70,000 seeds (buds or scions) of a “superior” variety of durian for farmers to cultivate locally using grafting or budding tehniques. The MK Hortimart durian fruit reportedly fetches between Rp. 250,000 to Rp. 350,000 per kilogram, while the price of the buds/scions are being sold for Rp. 70,000 / stem.

Interest in Porang grows

The cultivation of Porang (Amorphophallus Oncophyllus) is becoming popular amongst some groups in parts of Indonesia. Also on Porang cultivation movements in Sidrab regency, see this article.


PVP rights, plant breeding spurs increased ag productivity, output reports on PVP and breeding momentum in Indonesia. During the opening of an event to mark ‘Plant Variety Protection Week’ on December 18, 2019 in Jakarta, The Minister of Agriculture, Syahrul Yasin Limpo praised plant breeding and breeders for the continued improvement of agricultural productivity, especially through the development and release of superior varieties, which he said was a key factor for boosting productivity by some 15%. He noted that plant variety development is enabled and ensured in Indonesia through the PVP law (No. 29/2000). To mark the occasion, the minister presented an award to acknowledge the efforts  of breeder and researcher, Achmad Baihaki, who was recognized for devoting himself for decades in advocacy for PVP implementation in Indonesia. Also quoted in the report, Head of the Center for Plant Variety Protection and Agricultural Licensing, Erizal Jamal, said that the number of PVP applications for newly-developed superior varieties continues to increase. Citing targets to increase “various commodities” by a minimum of 7 percent per year, and to triple exports of agricultural products by 2024, the PVP chief said that improved seeds and new, improved varieties would be key to accelerating productivity. 

‘Superior’ new Aceh paddy lines yield national promise

Rice breeding efforts by the Institute of Research and Community Service (Lembaga Penelitian dan Pengabdian Kepada or LPPM) and the Aceh Rice Research Center, Unsyiah in collaboration with the Aceh Agriculture and Plantation Office have yielded a number of promising new, high-yielding, stress-resilient (pest resistance as well as heat/drought tolerance)  and early-maturing rice lines. According to a Serambi News report in Bahasa Indonesia, 538 new lines of Aceh local rice have been bred in a recent 7-year period spanning 2012 to 2019. From these, researchers have selected 15 of the best performing lines in terms of multiple abiotic and biotic stress trials. Average yields from initial trials range from 5.3 to 9.3 tons per hectare. To see and compare how the lines perform in other parts of the countrytrials are now being carried out in Southwest Aceh, Aceh Besar, Pidie, Bireun, Malang, Blitar, Jember, and Bali.

High hopes for hybrid maize hub 

Ministry of Agriculture officials together with provincial and district agriculture officers on December 16 presided over a hybrid maize seed (JH 37 research variety) harvesting event at a 60-hectare plot in the East Lampung district of Lampung Regency in South Sumatra. Some 107 hectares of land in Lampung Regency was planted with hybrid maize in 2019, which yielded 623,000 tonnes. and is part of a five-year trial aiming to bolster Indonesian hybrid maize seed capacity.  Beyond Sumatra, also news from Tanah Laut Regency in  South Kalimantan highlights 12.5 hectares harvested as part of three stages within the period. The first stage involves, strengthening farmer groups in the first year. The second focuses on development of farmers’ economic institutions in the third and fourth years.  The third stage will look at strengthening the farmers’ marketing capacity in the final year. Planting was also initiated in November in North Sulawesi on ​​82.4 Ha JH Varieties 37. 

Seed Sampling Training

The Ministry of Agriculture organized a training session for seed sampling officers in South Sulawesit 12 to 14 November. The activity supports strategy to improve capacity in seed sampling and testing officers in a push to promote quality seeds.