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Community Appreciates Government’s Quick Action to Stabilize Rice Prices

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Currently the Government has a number of programs to reduce price inflation and guarantee the availability of rice stocks in Bulog warehouses, one of which is a food aid program to reduce rice prices which had risen in early 2023 based on data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS). This food aid program is considered to be very beneficial for beneficiaries, especially people in the lower middle category, as well as being the Government’s mainstay program in reducing the rate of rice inflation.

Head of the National Food Agency (Bapanas), Arief Prasetyo Adi, said that 640 thousand tons of rice must be distributed within three months in the second phase of the food aid program. The distribution of this program is aimed at 21.3 million Beneficiary Families (KPM) in accordance with the tasks given directly by President Joko Widodo to Bapanas and Bulog.

Arief added that Bapanas also has a Food Supply and Price Stabilization (SPHP) program by distributing premium quality rice at low prices through traditional markets and modern retailers. Not only that, President Jokowi has ordered Bulog to distribute 200 thousand tons of commercial rice through rice mills throughout Indonesia to maintain rice price stability.

The programs carried out by the Government have succeeded in bringing the price of rice down. Prices of various types of medium rice in Kab. Lebak, Banten began to decline following the impact of the distribution of food aid programs to thousands of poor families in the area.

Head of the Trade Division of the District Industry and Trade Service (Disperindag). Lebak, Yani appreciated the performance of the Central Government and President Jokowi because rice prices began to fall. Currently, the people of Kab. Lebak is still receiving a food aid program of 10 kg of rice per head of family (KK), so it is certain that the food aid program will have a positive impact on the community in controlling the price of rice.

A trader at Rangkasbitung Market, Kab. Lebak, H. Baden said that the price of rice on the market had fallen after the impact of the distribution of the food aid program for the poor. Sales levels continue to increase because people’s purchasing power has returned to normal.

Meanwhile, a resident of Cibadak Kab. Lebak, Haerudin said that his party now feels relieved because there has been a decrease in the price of rice on the market, thereby reducing the daily cost burden.

Meanwhile, the price of medium rice in Kebayoran Lama and Cipete continues to decline, reaching IDR 11,000 per kg. This of course cannot be separated from the government’s operations to maintain the Stabilization of Food Supply and Prices (SPHP). Traders in markets in both areas admitted that they obtained the rice from the Cipinang Rice Main Market and were greatly helped by the Government’s programs.

Furthermore, Arief Prasetyo Adi said that President Jokowi ordered him to flood the market with rice from the SPHP program. The massive distribution of rice through market operations carried out by Bulog can reduce rice prices in addition to continuing to assign rice imports to fill rice reserves.

Arief said that Bulog’s massive stock had been distributed to the Cipinang Rice Main Market. Then, 120 percent of the 640 thousand tons of food aid has been fulfilled and then another 600 thousand tons of 1.5 million tons of rice will come based on President Jokowi’s orders.

On the other hand, as an effort to stabilize rice prices in Kab. Sleman DIY, Sleman Regency Government has carried out operational activities at Gamping Market. The Regent of Sleman, Kustini Sri Purnomo, said that this market operation was carried out with a scheme to provide reduced distribution costs to wholesalers of rice commodities.

Kustini added that the wholesalers had been equipped with integrity pacts so they could sell rice to retailers. Then, retail traders will be required to complete an integrity pact so they can sell subsidized rice to the public.

The Sleman Regency Government provides subsidies of up to IDR 500 for 217 tons of rice. This subsidy is carried out to reduce the selling price of rice to IDR 2,300 per kg with a maximum purchase from the public of 5 kg, and it is hoped that this subsidy can control inflation in order to increase people’s purchasing power and stabilize the prices of basic necessities from increasing significantly.

Kustini hopes that the market operation activities and subsidies carried out by the Sleman Regency Government can help ease the burden on the community and be able to get rice at an affordable price amidst the turbulent increase in rice prices due to El Nino.

In the future, the public does not need to worry about the price of rice which is rumored to continue to soar because the Government has taken various strategic steps to reduce the price of rice so that it remains stable and affordable. The Central Government and President Jokowi will also monitor all forms of market operation processes carried out by the District Government so that these operations continue to run so that they are not exploited by irresponsible individuals such as piling up basic necessities and other potential food disturbances.

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