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Indonesia's inflated rice data may lead to severe shortage of staple

Industry officials say the numbers are often exaggerated to attract central government funding and fertiliser subsidies that are based on production

Workers unloading imported rice from Vietnam at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta. Domestic prices of rice shot up in 2015 as supplies dwindled and the government dithered on imports. It ultimately imported 848,000 tonnes from the fourth quarter until mid-January.


INDONESIAN agriculture officials routinely inflate rice harvest data to present a rosy picture to the government and keep farm subsidies flowing, but their latest phoney numbers could lead to a severe shortage of the staple in coming months, officials say.

If the data had...