Despite public opposition, the Indonesian government is preparing legislation which will secure funding for GM crop programmes. Although the starter seeds will be imported from Europe and the US, further seeds will be produced within the country itself.
Officials have said that a biodiversity security committee needed to be formed before the technology could be used, but that GM crops were necessary to reduce dependence on food imports.
Previous trials of GM cotton sponsored by Monsanto in the South Sulawesi region had to be shelved because of public resistance.
This article first appeared in the Ecologist July 2007