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Thanks to the Government’s Stabilization Efforts, Medium Rice Prices Have Dropped

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By : Shenna Aprilya Zahra )*

Thanks to all the efforts made by the Government to stabilize the price of rice on the market, these efforts have finally borne fruit, where the price of medium quality rice at the Jakarta Cipinang Rice Main Market (PIBC) has decreased by as much as 11 percent.

The Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN), Erick Thohir, immediately moved very quickly to carry out orders and instructions from President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to use various efforts to stabilize rice prices so that they could run optimally in society.

One of the solutions implemented by the Government is that the rice import policy must be linked to domestic production, so that it does not just rely solely on import policies, but also on the other hand continues to strive to optimize domestic production by supporting the role of local farmers.

Therefore, domestic production continues to be encouraged by the government, but on the other hand, stocks must also continue to be encouraged so that they are adequate and ensure security so that there are no shortages in society. The government has a very strong commitment so that the price of rice does not continue to increase. So that various kinds of efforts or solutions continue to be sought, including cooperation.

The government ensures that rice stocks are safe, including how the price in the community, which has been distributed to every trader, is still within reasonable limits and not too excessive. In terms of figures, the rice stock currently owned by the country is still considered very safe, namely up to 1.7 million tons.

Apart from that, the Government also continues to make various other efforts, including providing food assistance worth up to 8 trillion Rupiah to as many as 21.3 million beneficiary families (KPM). The import policy itself cannot be implemented immediately.

However, the policy for deciding whether to import or not depends on domestic production. If, for example, domestic production carried out by local farmers turns out to be good, the government will not import.

From various kinds of data received, in fact the Government saw that there was a decline in domestic production from local farmers in December. So because there is always a cycle of decline, the way or solution is to implement an import policy.

Efforts to continue to increase rice productivity are currently not easy, due to the challenge of weather conditions with temperatures continuing to increase. It is even reported that the average temperature in Southeast Asia has now reached up to 35 degrees Celsius, while in India and Pakistan it has reached up to 40 degrees Celsius.

As a result of these bad conditions and weather, conditions in a number of lakes or lakes in West Java Province (Jabar) now only have a water depth of 1.5 meters. Whereas previously, it could reach up to 8 meters. Similar conditions do not only occur in West Java, but also in rice fields in Madura. For this reason, the government stated that such natural situations must be able to be anticipated.

Main Director of Food Station Tjipinang Jaya Pamrihadi Wiryaryo said that the price of medium quality rice at PIBC Jakarta has decreased by an average of 11 percent, now it is 11,183 Rupiah per kilogram from previously 12,575 Rupiah at the beginning of October 2023.

Based on data, the percentage decline in the price of medium quality rice was also the largest in the Cipinang Market during the second quarter because it was able to fall by as much as 11 percent. The rice price decreased after Perum Bulog realized an additional medium rice allocation of up to 31,410 tons.

The rice that has been allocated is part of the target of 35 thousand tons of rice in the government’s price stabilization supply assistance program (SPHP) distributed by Bulog to the Cipinang Market until the end of 2023. In fact, it is not impossible that the price of medium quality rice will decline again if the remaining 4 thousand tons of SPHP rice can be realized according to the target.

Of course, with the decline in the price of medium quality rice at PBIC Jakarta, which experienced a price decline of up to 11 percent, this cannot be separated from the role, efforts and many strategies that have been intensified by the Indonesian Government in its efforts to stabilize rice prices.

)* The author is a contributor to Ruang Baca Nusantara

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