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The Government’s Quick Steps Successfully Maintained Rice Price Stability

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By : Herman Ade Wijaya )*

The government continues to distribute food aid to stabilize rice prices. The supply and availability of basic commodities, especially rice throughout Indonesia is a special concern for the Government at this time. The increase in rice prices was due to the increase in grain prices, due to the increase in fertilizer and fuel oil (BBM) prices. Apart from that, the impact of climate change also affects it because it causes drought and crop failure. So the supply of rice on the market is reduced.

The Minister of Trade (Mendag), Zulkifli Hasan (Zulhas), said that the rice supply in the Bulog warehouse as of September 21 2023 was 1.4 million tons and 400 thousand tons would come from imports. Meanwhile, the National Food Agency’s balance sheet estimates that rice stocks will reach 7.69 million tons by the end of 2023.

Zulhas also asked regional governments to continue carrying out market operations to maintain the stability of rice prices in the market. And all necessary rice requests continue to be served, so that rice prices remain stable. The government consistently carries out market operations and cheap markets, and accelerates the distribution of 10 kilograms of rice aid to maintain rice price stability.

To maintain rice price stability, the government through Perum Bulog distributes rice to markets. The selling price of premium rice is adjusted to the market. Meanwhile, the price of rice for people who cannot afford it can be purchased through food supply and price stabilization programs (SPHP).

The public is asked not to worry about the availability of rice. The rice stock in the Bulog warehouse is currently still very sufficient. Apart from that, the public is asked not to worry, because the government is taking several steps to stabilize rice prices.

After taking quick steps to deal with rising rice prices, several regions in Indonesia have shown positive things. In Pekanbaru, Riau, prices of basic necessities tend to be stable, including rice. Apart from that, the supply of basic commodities is also sufficient without any problems, so people can shop with peace of mind. Meanwhile in West Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara, prices of basic necessities have stabilized and supplies are available.

Apart from that, the price of rice in West Java is starting to stabilize again thanks to the efforts made by the Central and West Java Provincial Governments. Apart from the blessing of the Cheap Food Program (GPM), the stability of large prices is also inseparable from the food aid that is distributed. Acting (Acting) Governor of West Java, Bey Triadi Machmudin, said that since the food aid was carried out, the price of rice was gradually being controlled. 

Currently, the West Java Provincial Government notes that the impact of Food Reserve Assistance (BCP) in West Java from Bapanas which was launched by President Joko Widodo in Bogor at the beginning of last September, has been visible even though the distribution has only reached 54 percent for 4,149,374 beneficiary families. The distribution of BCP to a number of regions is being accelerated by the West Java Provincial Government, Bulog and PT Pos Indonesia so that it is completed before September 30.

Apart from that, the Government through the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) also continues to strive to maintain food security through Bulog. Deputy Minister of BUMN, Kartika Wirjoatmodjo, said that Bulog was tasked with maintaining rice supplies so that people’s purchasing data prices remained stable. In the government’s assignment, to maintain rice price stability, Bulog and ID Food collaborate with Bapanas. In this case, there are several strategies to maintain rice price stability. During harvest and there is an excess supply, Bulog will buy to meet the rice supply when the price tends to be cheap. So, when demand is high, Bulog continues to sell rice at a stable price. So that people can buy Bulog rice at normal prices.

With the various efforts made by the Government, the price of rice commodities in a number of traditional markets and retail shops in various regions is currently gradually falling, in line with the implementation of cheap rice market operations by the local Bulog in the last few weeks. 

The price of rice in various regions this September was observed to be stable at IDR 10,900 per kilogram, with the highest retail price, namely IDR 13 thousand per kilogram. Meanwhile, the average price of rice is around IDR 11,455 per kilogram.

The National Food Agency (NFA) ensures the availability of Food Supply and Price Stabilization (SPHP) rice in all markets, both traditional markets, modern markets and the Cipinang Rice Main Market (PIBC). After the rice market operation at PIBC, the price of medium rice began to fall gradually. Where as of September 22 2023 the price of medium rice there is IDR 11,861 per kg.

Efforts to intervene in rice prices are mainly carried out by accelerating the distribution of food aid. The realization of food aid distribution in Jakarta is now 100% for the September 2023 period. Meanwhile, the realization of rice food aid nationally has reached 59.89%. So that with these efforts the price of rice will become more affordable, and people can meet their food needs properly.

)* The author is a contributor to the Editorial Journal

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