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The government guarantees that rice stocks throughout Indonesia will be safe until 2024

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By: Nana Gunawan *)

The Indonesian people do not need to worry about rice stocks because the Government has guaranteed that these stocks are very safe until 2024. This is because the harvest is underway in a number of areas even though there is a slight decrease in production due to Super El Nino. Additional supplies from this harvest will later strengthen national rice stock reserves.

The rice harvest target, especially in Indramayu Regency, has reached 1.2-1.3 million tons. If there is an increase of 40 percent, the rice harvest could reach 1.5-1.6 tons. Acting Minister of Agriculture, Arief Prasetyo Adi, said that his party had ordered the Ministry of Agriculture to increase national rice production until next year.

Apart from increasing production, Arief Prasetyo Adi added that Bulog should maximize the absorption of rice as the Government’s rice food reserves which could later be used to stabilize prices.

Previously, Arief had said that the Government had made various efforts to encourage farmers to increase their production during the MT I planting period for the October 2023 to March 2024 period. This period will be the government’s priority time in paying special attention to rice harvest targets.

The Government is making these efforts by ensuring the availability of fertilizer, improving irrigation, and strengthening outreach to farmers to provide provisions to maximize rice production. Apart from that, this provision is also important so that farmers understand good planting patterns, so that the results produced are maximum.

Meanwhile, President Joko Widodo checked rice production throughout Indonesia. In Indramayu, precisely in Karanglayu Village, District. Sukra, Kab. Indramayu, Jokowi said that the harvest in the village averaged 8.6 tons of Harvested Dry Grain (GKP) per hectare. In fact, production can reach 9 tons of GKP. In fact, in other areas, rice field productivity is around 7 tons of GKP. This increase in crop yields can occur because it is supported by technical irrigation water supplies.

Previously, President Joko Widodo had also monitored the harvest in Ciasen Girang Village, District. Cisaem, Kab. Subang. In Subang, President Jokowi said that farmers could harvest up to 9 tonnes of GKP rice per hectare. These conditions show that farmers’ harvests this planting season have been very good.

However, the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, said that even though the national rice stock is safe, there is still a need for imported rice supplies to stabilize rice prices. In anticipation of food availability at the end of 2023 and early 2024, the Government will import rice from several countries. Rice reserves in Bulog are currently 1.7 million tons and will be around 500-600 thousand tons of rice. This means that food reserves in Indonesia are still in a safe condition until the big harvest year, namely March 2024.

Observed from reports by several regional governments in Indonesia, rice stocks in their respective regions are still safe and invite the public not to panic. Regional Head of Perum Bulog, North Sumatra Regional Office, Arif Mandu, said that Perum Bulog had ensured that rice stocks in North Sumatra were very safe. The government’s rice reserves in eight North Sumatra Bulog warehouses reached 37,362 tons.

According to him, this number will continue to increase because North Sumatra receives an additional allocation of 45 thousand tons of rice for the next few months. The government’s additional rice allocation will be distributed from September to November 2023. As of October 11 2023, according to North Sumater Bulog Records, the distribution of food rice aid has reached 14,012 tons.

Furthermore, the rice stock in Bulog in the Malang region was also stated to be still safe and sufficient until the end of 2023. Head of the Malang branch of Bulog, Siane Dwi Agustina, emphasized that the rice reserves available in Malang are 4,500 tons, which are intended for the Greater Malang area, City and Pasuruhan Regency. . If it is deemed insufficient, his party will ask the Government for additional rice of 8 tonnes.

Meanwhile, in the Sumbawa region, NTB, the West Sumbawa Regency Government has also ensured that rice stocks in its area are safe even though West Sumbawa is affected by the long drought. Head of the District Food Security Service. West Sumbawa, Amin Sudiono said that the stock of food reserves in the Bulog warehouse reached 160 thousand tons and could meet the needs of the District. Sumbawa, West Sumbawa and Lombok Island until next year or the next harvest season.

Likewise, the Papua region has guaranteed that the availability of rice stocks in the Papua and West Papua regions is safe for the next five months. Head of the Papua Communication and Informatics Service (Kominfo), Jeri A Yudianto, said that the availability of rice in the warehouse belonging to Perum Bulog, Papua and West Papua Regional Offices has now reached 12,439 tons and is guaranteed to be safe until next year. The rice stock is distributed to various regions. A total of 2,959 tons are at the Jayapura Regional Office, 236 tons at the Biak branch office, and 2,019 tons at the Serui branch office. Apart from that, the Papua Regional Government will receive 4,900 tons of rice stock that will enter Papua.

For now, it is hoped that the public will not need to worry about rice stocks in Indonesia because the Government has prepared various efforts to ensure that rice reserves in Bulog warehouses are always available. The success of the Government and a number of other parties in keeping rice stocks safe should be appreciated, because it did not cause panic among the community and was successful in maintaining national economic stability. The public is also asked to strengthen support for the Government’s steps in ensuring the availability of rice stocks on the market.

*) The author is an Economic Observer, Pershada Institute.

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