Indonesia Eyes Top Two Coffee Producer Spot: Association

Indonesia, now struggling with slumping coffee output due to hot and wet weather, has set an ambitious goal to be the world’s No.2 producer within five years, an executive at an industry association said on Wednesday.

Indonesia is the world’s fourth-largest coffee producer after Brazil, Colombia and Vietnam, and the world’s second-biggest robusta coffee producer after Vietnam.

“We are optimistic that in five years, Indonesia will be the second-largest coffee producer in the world with coffee production of 1.3-1.4 million tons,” Pranoto Soenarto, vice chairman of the Association of Indonesian Coffee Exporters and Industries (AEKI) told reporters.

In the September 2010 to August 2011 coffee year, Indonesia will produce an estimated 600,000 tons of coffee beans, Soenarto said. He added that in 2011/2012, production will rise to about 650,000 tons.

This is far from an industry consensus however. Coffee production in Indonesia could fall as much as 30 percent to around 400,000 tons in 2011 due to a failure in pollination after last year’s persistent rains, the Indonesian Coffee and Cocoa Research Institute said earlier this year.

Hot weather conditions hit crops earlier this year and resulted in current low stock levels, that is causing exports to decline.

Harvests in Sumatra, the main growing island, usually begin in March or April, but yields had been down as farmers have been picking cherries since January after persistent rains caused the flowering season to begin earlier in some districts. The next harvest is due in December or January, but recent rains in Sumatra raised fears of another bad crop.

The coffee crop in Indonesia is currently in the flowering stage.

To reach its production targets of above 1 million tons within the next five years, Indonesia will boost coffee output by developing genetics so that crops fair better in key growing areas in the country, Soenarto added.

“We have been starting the coffee genetic selection to be cultivated in two certain areas in Java island,” Pranoto said, adding that this could double yields to between 700 and 800 kg per hectare each year.

Indonesian coffee plantations currently total around 1.3 million hectares, mostly cultivated by small-holder farmers.

Reuters

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