Selasa, 28 April 2009

Adios inbred rice? Hybrid rice seeds are coming-and-coming..

Indonesia attained rice self-sufficiency in 2008. However, Indonesia, as claimed by a TNC seed company, definitely a key country in our global strategy for hybrid rice. “We are looking at significant business expansion here after our initial market introduction in 2006,” as said by Bayer Cropscience.

Two-years ago small-scale rice farmers are out-competed by imports, now in the hand of hybrid rice seed companies?

Foreign seed companies have came earlier and grown hybrid rice to farmers’ fields in both upland - by Kondo Mitsubishi in 2000 - and lowland rice field – by Bayer in 2004. Meanwhile publication of public agency for agricultural research and development pf ministry of agriculture, entitled field guidance for the extension workers on the potential suitable area for hybrid rice cultivation, issued years later, in March 2007, although research on hybrid rice has had been developing since 1983. There was claimed national hybrid rice varieties have able to meet seeds demand to farmers and unnecessarily importing from other country, such as China, but mass production and its commercialisation or marketing of these hybrid rice seeds, of course, highly depend to partnership scheme with private sector.

At farmer level, the ministry of agriculture introduce a newly scheme on seed subsidy. Director on Seed of the Directorate General of Food Crops of Department of Agriculture Rachman Pinem (10 Dec. 2008) said seed subsidy funds for the year 2009 will be distributed directly to account of farmer groups. “Farmers will be able to buy seed directly from local breeders which multiplied foundation seed distributed by the Department of Agriculture, or for second option, farmers can buy higher quality hybrid seeds directly from other producers.”

For information, seed subsidy was increased around 10,5%, from Rp 1.5 trillion in 2008 to Rp 1.7 trillion in 2009 (Kontan online, Thursday 11 Sept. 2008; US$1=Rp13.000 on 9 Sept. 2008).

How much hybrid rice seed companies reap profit from small scale rice farmers – mostly above 40 years old with around 0.25 hectare rice field - in Indonesia?

Seeds Companies marketing to farmers in Indonesia, in brief

Situationer, highlight

Hi-tech Seed, China 19 March 2009
Hi-tech seed is the company for producing and exporting rice seed, vegetable seed and fruit seed. And we are interesting in the seed producing and trading of hybrid rice in Indonisia. Therefore, we hope to building the membership with companies in Indonesia. Please inform us more details about your company, Your prompt and completed information are highly appreciated. Thank you very much! Yang Lin. Hi-tech seed Co.,LTD, Add: No. 3 Jiuxing Road, Hi-tech Development Zone, Chengdu, China (Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 3:45 PM, in my mailbox)

DuPont 17 March 2009
PT DuPont Indonesia prepares US$100.000 or around IDR1.2 billion to help marketing hybrid paddy seed developed by the Research and Development Agency at the Department of Agriculture.

That was inked in an MoU between PT DuPont and the Research and Development Agency at the Department of Agriculture in Jakarta. The partnership will cover hybrid paddy seed research, production, and hybrid paddy seed. It will also cover multi-location (14 locations) tests of hybrid paddy varieties. It may be noted, ministry of agriculture announced DuPont has alloacated around US$100,000 or Rp1.2 billion for that purpose (19March 2009).

PT DuPont Indonesia previously established a synergic partnership with the Paddy Research Agency (BB Padi) and got a license to produce and sell Maro hybrid paddy seed, which is developed by Indonesian researchers in BB Padi.

DuPont has also been producing and marketing Pioneer hybrid corn seed since 1988 and the leader in the hybrid corn seed industry in Indonesia. DuPont Indonesia has launched 23 varieties of Pioneer hybrid corn seeds. The varieties that are still produced and marketed are P7, P11, P12, P13, P21, and P23. In 2007, PT DuPont started marketing PP1 hybrid paddy seed and launched PP2 hybrid paddy seed.

Business Director of PT DuPont Indonesia Mardahana disclosed the partnership was part of efforts to improve the existing resources. "We hope the partnership will be able to produce high-quality seeds worth to sell," he said.

Asean Business Manager of Dupont Andy Gumala even hoped the hybrid paddy seeds could be exported to Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and India., also online Thursday, 19 March 2009 23:51

deVGen, 13 march 2009
Devgen is ready for 2009 market entry in Indonesia, through cooperation with, a state-owned seed company, PT SHS, the country's leading seed producer and distributor, after successful local testing and subject to product registration of the Devgen rice hybrids.

During 2008, Devgen demonstrated that its hybrids are adapted and potentially competitive in the Philippine and Indonesian markets. In 2009, Devgen plans to expand its hybrid rice business to these two major rice growing countries.
* In Indonesia, Devgen has had entered into R&D, testing and distribution agreements for its hybrid rice products with Pt. Sang Hyang Seri, the Indonesian government owned seed company, that produces and distributes a large part of the countries seed requirements (Business highlights 2008 ).

Business objectives 2009:
Launch hybrid rice in Indonesia (2009) and the Philippines (209/2010).
(...)In Indonesia and the Philippines, Devgen has taken the first steps towards market entry in rice. That was part of two complementary strategies set by Devgen, a Belgium biotech company, brings this technology to market in the world's major food and feed crops.
In line with its strategy to focus its business on agrobiotech, Devgen throughout 2008, considered all possible options to sell or spin-out its pharma assets. When it became clear that in the current markets, it was unlikely that a buyer or investor could be found, Devgen terminated its pharma research program and is now fully focused on its agrobiotech business, where the company has strong track record in technology and is building a product driven business

Devgen is publicly listed since 2005 on Euronext, Brussels (DEVG) and has operations in Ghent (Belgium), Kenya, Delaware (US), Singapore, the Philippines and Hyderabad (India), with a total work force of more than 250 people.

Bayer, March 2008

“Hybrid rice is a strategic crop for Bayer CropScience”, said Sidi Asmono, BioScience Manager at Bayer CropScience Indonesia. “In 2007 we have strengthened our excellent position on the hybrid rice market in Indonesia. For Bayer CropScience, Indonesia is definitely a key country in our global strategy for hybrid rice and we are looking at significant business expansion here after our initial market introduction in 2006.” (Wednesday, March 26, 2008)

On 25 March 2008 Bayer CropScience, one of the global leaders in hybrid rice seeds, has signed a letter of intent with the Ministry of Agriculture of Indonesia regarding cooperation in research, development and dissemination of hybrid rice technology in Indonesia. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bayer CropScience has developed Arize® hybrid rice in Indonesia in 2004 ( resulted two varieties, namely Hibrindo R-1 and Hibrindo R-2; both released by the minister of agriculture in 2003 (Daerah Pengembangan Dan Anjuran Budidaya Padi Hibrida, Badan Penelitian dan Pengembangan Pertanian Departemen Pertanian, 2007). Arize® Hibrindo hybrid rice seeds have been commercialized in the West Jawa, East Jawa and Gorontalo provinces since 2006.

PT SAS & Sichuan Guo Hao Seed Industry Co Ltd
PT Sumber Alam Sutra (SAS) is one of 18 private companies developing Chinese-developed hybrid rice varieties in the country. PT SAS as a new player in hybrid rice seeds marketing in Indonesia has been promoting two hybrid rice varieties. However, PT SAS also sell one of national hybrid rice variety, namely Rokan, as a license-variety.

PT SAS has added up to 12,347 tons of rice to the total national rice production. The company expects this figure to grow to 896,000 tons by 2010. PT SAS is a holding company of Tomy Winata, who spearheads the Artha Graha Group (AGG). AGG is working together with China’s Si Chuan Guo Hao Zhong Ye Co Ltd. which invested around US$5 million to develop Hybrid Rice Research Center in Lampung province.

"Under an MOU signed in 2005, China also agreed to transfer farming technology including the breeding of new hybrid varieties to eliminate Indonesia's dependence on seed imports," Vice President Jusuf Kalla said (The Jakarta Post, 18 Oct.2007).

Kondo, Mitsui Chemical, Inc., 1997
Miki1, Miki2, Miki3, Manis4, and Manis5 are hybrid rice varieties produced by Mitsui Chemical, Inc , have been growing in limited area of irrigated upland rice fields in West Jawa since 2000 by PT. Kondo Indonesia. This company has been developing restorers of hybrid rice in Indonesia, in cooperation with the R&D agency of department of agriculture since 1997. However, it can be said, this company producing hybrid rice for food consumption rather than sell seeds. As monitored seed marketing of three hybrid rice varieties to farmers not aggressive compare to others.

See: Hybrid Rice in Indonesia, Too ambitious with the Golden Boy..! A field monitoring by BioTani Indonesia. Jakarta 5 Oct. 2007; see:; also: Hybrid Rice in Indonesia, Too ambitious..!Biotani Indonesia 23 Oct.2007 Report to Grain. Also: Attachment of Padi Hibrida, Mitos baru abad 21 tetapi bukan untuk si Miskin. PAN Indonesia. Jakarta. Juni 2000.

Hybrid rice susceptible to BPH and WBPH
Baehaki S.E of the Indonesian Center for Rice Research (BB Padi) in Sukamandi, West Jawa, Indonesia disclosed:

Three years ago we started evaluating hybrid rice varieties and found that all the hybrid varieties are susceptible to Brown planthopper (BPH). In the Wet Season 2005 we compared BPH reaction in the field of hybrids, Hipa 3, H45, and H53 with IR64, IR74 and BP360. BPH development on hybrids was higher than on IR74. In the Dry Season 2004, we found the whitebacked planthopper on hybrid Rokan, Hipa 3, and Hipa 4, but low in inbred IR64, although this variety was reported to be attacked by BPH . There are indications that in Indonesia hybrids are susceptible to both species of planthopper, BPH and White Back Plant Hopper (WBPH).

Seven years ago Suwarno, et all (2002) revealed the hybrids are susceptible to the major pests brown planthopper, bacterial leaf blight, and rice tungro virus, and may not always express heterosis across locations. Cultivation of the hybrids should be followed by application of integrated pest management, but cultivation is not recommended in the endemic area of the pests (

Back in October 2007, "The government's decision to introduce hybrid rice varieties through the private sector hopes to improve the economic livelihood of farmers and the country's rice production so that Indonesia will no longer rely on imported rice to supply national food stocks," he said during a dialogue with farmers, The Jakarta Post reported Wednesday (17/10/07).

As claimed, research on hybrid rice in Indonesia began in the mid of 1983, by using CMS as parent from China, Philippines and India, while parent for restorer (R) imported from Philippines/IRRI, China and Thailand. Rice varieties used, at that time, were 20A, 44A and 97A. In 1986 indica varieties used but the yields was not impressive. Then, the Philippines/IRRI’s rice varieties chosen, such as IR 58025A, IR 62829A, IR 68885A, IR 68886A, and IR 68887 (Tjahjadi, 2000). Last March was reported, four of total eight hybrid rice varieties developed by BB Padi classified as public domain varieties, included Hipa4, and Hipa5 Ceva and Hipa6 Jete (as result a joint cooperation with the Central Jawa administration), then Hipa7 (finroll online, Thursday, 19 March 2009 23:51).

What will be real story of rice farmers – with around 21 million families - behind rice self-sufficiency achieved last year, also this year?

A short period of rice self-sufficiency two decades ago, Riza V. Tjahjadi (1991a, 2004) revealed researchers pointed out that self-sufficiency on rice has achieved not based on the farmers awareness, but the stick-driven government regulations which have been driving farmers to cultivating only rice. As consequence, the rice production has increased successfully – but only for short period, 2.5 years. In contrast, it’s has been losing the interest of the farmers. Therefore farmers became a refugee of development in real situations.
(Tjahjadi, 2004: Indo-OrganicsFarm-10Dec2004.pdf: Report prepared by Riza V. Tjahjadi, Executive Director of BioTani Indonesia Foundation and National ...... IFAD Thematic Evaluation on Organic Agriculture in Asia ... - Halaman sejenis)


More info, see previous postings in this blog

Riza V. Tjahjadi
BioTani & Bahari Indonesia


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