PT Syngenta Indonesia president director Parveen Kathuria explains to media on April 13 the progress of his company's program.

PT Syngenta Indonesia, a local subsidiary of Swiss agriculture company Syngenta, plans to expand its business by producing hybrid paddy seeds after years of focusing on corn seeds.

Syngenta Indonesia president director Parveen Kathuria told reporters on Wednesday that the new product, which was still being tested by the Agriculture Ministry, was expected to start entering the domestic market in 2019.

"The Indonesian government is very stringent in regulatory requirements, in how much the production will bring new value. That’s why it takes a lot of time to bring a new variety, especially in rice," Kathuria said.

The company's research and development centers had for the past six years been developing the product to make it resistant to leaf-hoppers and bacterial blights, he added.

Kathuria did not mention the precise amount of money needed to develop the new product, but essentially said it would be less than US$10 million.

Meanwhile, Syngenta Indonesia's head of corporate affairs, Midzon Johannis, said that this year his company was still focused on registering with the Agriculture Ministry.

He said the rice seeds would be nurtured in Pasuruan, East Java.

Kathuri said that to support the new product, the company would also produce rice-protecting herbicides in 2018.