March 20, 2015

20/03/2015: BASF spies opening in Indonesia’s rice self-sufficiency goal

German chemicals giant BASF has introduced its latest fungicide product in Jombang, East Java, as it seeks to tap Indonesia’s bid to become self-sufficient in rice production, The Jakarta Globe reports.

The company launched Seltima, its latest fungicide product to control rice blast fungus, one of the most destructive types of blights to the crop that can reduce yields by up to 50 percent.

“We hope we can reach a big market share through this product,” Leon van Mullekom, BASF’s business area manager for Southeast Asia, said on Tuesday.
“Indonesia is the first country [to get the new product], then we will introduce it to Vietnam, Central America and India.”

Indonesia is an important market for BASF for its line of agricultural and other chemical products, van Mullekom said.
The country contributed 8 to 9 percent of BASF’s 500 million euro ($530 million) crop protection business in Asia Pacific last year.

In Indonesia, BASF competes with other multinational companies, including Bayer, Syngenta, Monsanto, Dow and DuPont to provide pesticides and other chemicals for the agricultural sector.

BASF booked 420 million euros from chemical sales in 2014 from Indonesia, with agricultural protection products contributing to 10 to 15 percent of sales.

The company says it is looking forward to the government’s bid to boost domestic production of rice to meet demand from the country’s population of around 250 million people, amid challenges such as shortage of arable land and rising numbers of chemical-resistant disease and pests.

Indonesia, which produces 5.1 metric tons of rice per hectare per year, is the fourth-most-productive rice grower in the world behind Japan and China, at 6.7 tons per hectare per year, and Vietnam (5.6), according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

Read more HERE.

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