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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  22 December 2014  

Indonesia should not import rice: Jusuf Kalla
 Vice President Jusuf Kalla believes that Indonesia, a country with vast land territory, should not import rice but should achieve food self-sufficiency instead so that it does not have to depend on imports from other countries.
"I asked the Agriculture Minister to work hard to realize the self-sufficiency goal, especially as the ministry has 15 hectares of land that could be utilized better," Kalla, who is better known as JK, said here on Thursday.
JK also insisted that agricultural experts in the ministry return to the fields and not work in their offices so that they can pay better attention to the problems that the sector is facing.
According to the vice president, Indonesia should, in fact, be embarrassed that it continues to import some three million tons of rice per year despite the ample availability of land.
"So we should not import rice. We must be self-sufficient in food instead," JK stated, adding, "We should strive to achieve self-sufficiency in rice, sugar, corn and soybean within the next two to three years, or maybe even a year."
JK further noted that in efforts to achieve self-sufficiency, some requirements should be met, including the supply of good quality seeds, as well as the availability of enough fertilizers and a good irrigation network. (ANTARA) 

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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