Appreciation of the Government’s Strategy to Handle Rising Rice Prices and Stabilize Food Demand
Rice is a staple food for the majority of Indonesian people , but currently parts of Indonesia are experiencing drought which has an impact on farmers’ land and rice production so that people experience a shortage of rice stocks and this has an impact on rising rice prices.
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said that the price of rice had not yet fallen, due to the effects of Super El Nino which occurred and hit 7 provinces in Indonesia. This condition is predicted to be stable until December 2023 and will gradually weaken .
Indonesia is divided into 2 seasons, it is estimated that the rainy season will start in October and end in March, where currently a number of regions have started to enter the low category of the rainy season.
The Food Agency’s Price Panel shows that the price of medium rice increased by Rp. 60 to Rp. 13,040 per kg and premium rice increased by Rp. 70 to Rp. 14,650 per kg (data at 14.17/22 September 2023) . Based on CNBC Indonesia’s monitoring, the price of premium rice in Jakarta is around Rp. 18,000 per kg.
Fluctuations in the price of rice have created a dilemma for the public. In response to this, Vice President (Wapres) KH Ma’ruf Amin said that the government had made efforts to stabilize the price of rice, including by distributing rice to various regions.
To curb the rate of increase in rice prices, the government accelerated the distribution of food aid in the form of 10 kg of rice to 21.353 million beneficiary families (KPM) with the first period being completed in March-May 2023, while the second period was planned for October but in Accelerate distribution starting in September-November 2023.
The distribution of rice aid will be given to people who are registered as recipients of social assistance, which can be checked via the official website of the Ministry of Social Affairs. With this step, we hope that the assistance provided will be right on target to those in need.
It is believed that this can control rice prices, at least for the next 3-4 months until towards the end of the year, while providing more benefits to low-income communities.
The government also continues to implement price stability policies and support for low-income community groups through the Food Price Stabilization Stabilization of Food Prices (SPHP) rice sales program and the food aid program provided by Bulog . The SPHP and food aid programs are rice price stabilization programs in the short term. Medium to long term efforts through smart, real and sustainable production increases are still very necessary and must continue to be carried out.
The Main Director of Perum BULOG, Budi Waseso, said that Bulog BULOG has carried out a very good rice price stabilization intervention in accordance with the President’s direction by preparing the government’s rice reserve stock so that it can anticipate increases in rice prices. We appeal to all people not to panic because BULOG has very safe stocks for the need to stabilize rice prices throughout the year.
Apart from maximizing the absorption of domestic production, BULOG has also received an assignment to import 2 million tonnes of rice this year so that the government’s rice reserve stock controlled by BULOG is sufficient for domestic distribution needs until next year.
Head of BULOG Kedu Branch, Yudha Aji, said that Perum BULOG Kedu Branch Office carried out a “Market Raid” movement to ensure that the availability of SPHP rice in traditional markets was well maintained. This program will continue throughout the year with the HET for SPHP rice currently amounting to IDR 9,450 per kg for final consumers.
It is hoped that this program can help to fulfill people’s daily needs and maintain the stability of food prices, especially rice, in each region.
Apart from short-term solutions implemented by the government, there are medium and long-term solutions implemented, namely providing steps to strengthen rice production capacity and understanding to farmers.
Meanwhile, in the medium term , Chairman of Commission B DPRD DIY, Andriana, said that strengthening rice production capacity by DIY farmers needs to be increased. Improving agricultural infrastructure is a priority. Apart from that, stimulus and education on environmentally friendly fertilizers is very important because the agricultural cost component is quite high, apart from labor wages, there are also fertilizer costs .
Board of Commissioners and Indef Senior Economist Bustanul Arifin said there are many ways that can be done to reduce the high price of rice due to lack of production through increasing the combination of business cooperation with government to government (G to G) and business to business (B to B) schemes, contract farming. by tying farmers’ commitment to send their harvests to buyers in consumer areas, accelerating smart farming , providing offtakers , increasing warehousing capacity, as well as assistance from universities, NGOs, consultants and cooperatives for farmers.
Providing guidance and education to farmers to use the development of rice seeds that are more resistant to climate change and accelerating technical irrigation and pumping can increase rice production capacity in the country .
Short-term solutions can anticipate people’s needs quickly and medium-term and long-term solutions can be implemented sustainably to resolve the problem of drought which causes rice prices to rise and stabilize food needs in Indonesia.