The government plans to spend Rp 5 trillion (US$530 million) to revitalize state-owned rubber plantations with a target to increase productivity by 44.5 percent to an annual average of 1,300 kilograms per hectare by 2015.
Agriculture Ministry perennial crop director Rismansyah Danasaputra said the revitalization program would cover 350,000 hectares of plantation area. Rismansyah said around 300,000 hectares of the area needed total rejuvenation, while the remaining area would require land intensification methods.
“Within the next three years, we will provide fertilizers for 50,000 hectares and seeds for the rest,” Rismansyah told reporters in Jakarta on Monday on the sidelines of a multi-stakeholder dialogue on rubber.
Productivity is the main problem for local rubber producers, as their annual rubber output per hectare is still far lower than other rubber producers in Southeast Asia, such as Thailand and Malaysia. Thailand, for example, can produce more than 1,500 kilograms per hectare.
Around 95 percent of the country’s rubber plantations in Indonesia, the world’s second largest rubber producer, are located in Sumatra and Kalimantan. Last year, the overall rubber plantation areas totaled 3.45 million hectares, with the majority being held by smallholders (85 percent), followed by private companies (8 percent) and state-owned enterprises (7 percent).
Rubber is one of the key contributors to Indonesia’s overall exports. Last year, 2.6 million tons of rubber was exported, with a value of US$12.43 billion.
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