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In Indonesia, Getting Accurate Data Is Like ‘Finding a Pokemon’

09 Apr 2019 17:50 | Divjot Mehton (Administrator)

Indonesia’s government is set to export rice for the first time in more than a decade -- not because the country has turned in a bumper harvest but because it’s been importing the grain based on faulty data collection, resulting in an oversupply of stocks.

The statistics agency has now overhauled its rice output survey to improve the data. It’s also making its surveyors climb mountains and trek down valleys, sometimes in remote islands, to verify satellite images of more than 200,000 paddy fields.

Suhariyanto, the head of Indonesia’s Central Statistics Bureau, said his agents found it tough at first, with some saying it’s “like finding a Pokemon,” referring to the hit mobile game where users catch virtual monsters on a digital map.

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