Tue, 09 Sep 2008
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Twenty-five companies are interested in making an investment in large-scale corn agribusiness in Indonesia, manager of PT DuPont country manager Mardahana said.

Many investors were interested in developing large-scale corn plantations in the country in view of the current high price of corn in the world which is predicted to remain as such until 2017, he said here on Monday.

These companies include Agroenerpia of South Korea which intends to develop 17,500 hectares of corn plantations in Buol, Sulawesi, and PT Rainbow Energy that plans to develop 40,000 hectares of plantations in East Java.

"These investors have recently studied corn mechanizations in Thailand," he said.

He said they had chosen Thailand to learn about the technology because that country had an experience in applying it and had also produced the machines.

"They also chose Thailand because its climate is similar to Indonesia`s," he said.

The condition, he said, could be used as a model before conducting mechanization and modernization of raising corn in Indonesia.

Thailand, he said, now has 1.2 million hectares of corn plantations cultivated with hybrid corn seeds while Indonesia only an average 3.35 million hectares a year and only 30 percent of them planted with hybrid seeds so that the production is relatively low.

A representative from the Association of Animal Feed Producers Anton Supit admitted that mechanization in Thailand had made corn farming in that country efficient.

He said Indonesia could conduct mechanization like in Thailand because the technology was instant in nature. "If we have the money we can buy it and we do not have to rent it," he said.

He admitted however that landownership and culture could hinder its implementation. He said each farmer in Thailand has five to seven hectares while in Indonesia only an average 0.3 hectare.

In view of this situation, he hoped the government would make changes in famers` land management such as by introducing corporate farming.
(*)



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