Organic Rice Demand Overwhelms West Java Farmers

Jumat, 28 Maret 2014 | 10:01

Farmers of organic rice in Tasikmalaya regency, West Java, are overwhelmed by demand for rice for export since production of organic rice decreases as the number of farmer dwindles.Head of Gapoktan Sauyunan farmers association, Tasikmalaya regency, Saeful Bahri, said demand for organic rice from US and Europe is only fulfilled 50%, or 210 tons of rice.

“We can only fulfill 50% of it. Production of organic rice is stagnant and even declines. We hope this year we can meet export target,” he told Bisnis, Thursday (3/26).

He stated decline of organic rice production occurs in the last three years. In 2010, there were 7 sub district having groups of organic rice farmer, now there are only 4 sub districts, i.e. Manonjaya, Salawu, Cisayong, and Sukahening sub district.

“Honestly, the number of farmer group also declines, it causes low organic rice production since there are less farmers doing this,” he said.

One of the causing factors is the absence of support from the government such as counseling, and guidance in production or after-harvest management.

It has been almost three years since organic farmers last received any counseling, let alone assistance, such as seeds and tools.

“Without any support, particularly training and counseling, it is difficult to develop organic rice segment. At least thye local administration gives moral support for this,” he said.

As a matter of fact, in terms of economic profit, it is very potential, the price is very high, and the market prospect is still wide since supply of organic rice is limited.

“Just compare the price of unhusked organic rice with common unhusked rice, at IDR6,000/kg to IDR4,5000/kg.” (t10)

by Anep Paoji