Tue, 01 Feb 2011

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government is ready to open two million hectares of farm land in anticipation of declining food production due to global climate change and extreme climate, a minister said.

Agriculture Minister Suswono said here on Friday food-producing countries had of late seen a shortfall in their production due to the uncertain climate, leading to a steady decline in global food stocks.

This prompted the food-producing countries not to export their food production any longer in order to safeguard their food stocks, he said.

"Looking ahead, the quantity of food commodities traded in the international market will be getting smaller while at the same time food demand will be on the increase. This will lead to the higher price of food commodities in the international market," he said.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) had reminded each country of the need to strengthen their food stocks in the face of the current situation, he said.

Yet Indonesia was not in a worrying position because it had vast area of land that had the potential to increase food production, he said.

He said Indonesia would take maximum advantage of its land to support the country`s food self-reliance and resilience.

"With the existing farm land potentials it is still possible to open new paddy field to keep the balance of land conversion rate particularly in Java," he said. (*)