DEVELOPMENT OF PLANT SEEDLING CULTIVATION INDUSTRY
A rapid expansion has been recorded in the plantation sector especially oil palm plantations in Indonesia in the past 10 years resulting in the country becoming the world's largest producer of palm oil. Cacao plantations have also expanded making the country the world's second largest producers of cacao beans. The country has also maintained its position as leading producers of other plantation commodities like rubber and coffee.
Plant seedling industry plays an important role in the expansion of the plantation sector. Seeds requirements have increased from year to year with the opening of more lands for new plantations in major islands especially outside Java such as Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua.
Indonesia is the world's largest producer of oil palm seeds with annual production of around 167 million units, but the country is also the largest consumers of the shoots. The world's production of seed is around 280 million a year including from Indonesia with production of 167 million seeds, from Malaysia 60 million seeds, Costa Rica 25 million seeds, Papua New Guinea 15 million and other countries around 13 million .
While being the world's largest producer, Indonesia is also the largest importer of seeds as the domestic production still falls short of requirement. Shortage in seeds supply still is often a serious problem hampering expansion of plantations.
According to the agriculture ministry, the country had a deficit of more than 70 million units of oil palm seedlings in 2008 to carry out revitalization of oil palm plantations. The revitalization program including replanting and expansion of plantations in 2008 needed 230 million units of oil palm seeds as against supplying capacity of 159 million units domestically.
Large imports, therefore, were made that year including from Costa Rica, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea. The import licenses of oil palm seeds will be effective until the country is self sufficient in supply.
The shortage in domestic supply has encouraged production and sales of false products of seeds. Based on data from the Oil Palm Research Center hundreds of thousands of units of false products of oil palm seeds have been sold in Indonesia. False products have been found mainly in East Kalimantan, West Sulawesi, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD), South Sumatra, Bengkulu, and Lampung. The use of false products of seeds resulted in low productivity and quality causing huge losses to the oil palm plantation industry. Sales of false products of seeds have been rampant because of the large demand amid limited supply.
Indonesia also has a shortage in supply of 23 million cacao seeds to meet the target of expanding the cacao plantations to 200,000 hectares of plantations until 2010. Currently the country could produce only 34 million seeds, and the 200,000 hectares of plantations will need around 57 million seeds. The agriculture ministry plans to produce high yield cacao seeds with the tissue culture technology known as Somatic Embryogenesis (SE). The technology is expected to help accelerate production of high yield cacao seeds.
This report presents details about production, exports and imports of seeds, domestic seed requirement and domestic suppliers of seeds.