Government Optimally Handles Rice Scarcity on the Market
The Government of the Republic of Indonesia (RI) is very optimal in dealing with the scarcity of rice on the market. This handling is in accordance with direct orders from the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo (Jokowi), who ordered his staff to flood rice stocks on the market amidst the scarcity of premium rice in 5 kilogram packages.
Head of the National Food Agency (Bapanas), Arief Prasetyo, revealed that with a very quick response, the Head of State immediately responded to the rice shortage by inviting several relevant ministers such as Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Trade Zulkifli Hasan, Minister of State-Owned Enterprises Erick Thohir, Coordinating Minister for the Economy Airlangga Hartarto and Main Director of Bulog Bayu Krisnamurthi.
During the meeting, President Jokowi immediately ordered his staff to flood the market by distributing rice stocks stored in the Bulog warehouse to the market. Not only that, but all levels were also asked to ensure the loading and unloading of rice from the port so that it could be directly distributed to the Cipinang Main Market in East Jakarta.
Because he wanted to distribute and flood rice stocks on the market, the Head of State immediately went with the Main Director of Bulog and the Minister of BUMN to the Cipinang Rice Main Market to directly confirm the process of unloading rice from the port directly to the Cipinang Rice Main Market so that it could be distributed directly.
Later, all rice in the main market must be distributed to modern markets and traditional markets. Please note that so far the stock of rice in the main market itself is quite high, reaching around 34 thousand tons.
Therefore, it is the task of the Government, as well as a very strong commitment from President Jokowi to ensure that the distribution of rice can reach outlets both in modern markets and traditional markets, where all these actions are carried out as soon as possible in order to deal with the rice shortage. that happened.
Regarding the actual cause of the rice shortage in the market, the Head of the National Food Agency (Bapanas), Arief Prasetyo, firmly denied that the government’s rice food assistance program which has been provided to the public is the cause of the shortage of premium rice in modern retail.
The head of Bapanas emphasized that the rice food aid program that has been intensified by the Indonesian government so far has not burdened the supply of premium rice itself. So the disbursement of social assistance is not at all related to the price of rice on the market.
Apart from that, the distribution of social assistance itself is also purely a form of the state’s presence in the midst of people who are experiencing difficulties and is completely unrelated to the 2024 General Election. social from February 8 to February 14 2024 to respect the process of implementing the political contestation.
Meanwhile, the cause of the scarcity of premium rice itself is because the consumption of the community is experiencing a shortage so that the price of rice has become expensive on the market. Even so, Arief firmly believes that when the harvest season returns, namely next March, rice stocks will be abundant and prices can fall again.
There is great hope that by March 2024 national food production will be in line with BPS, namely above 34 million tonnes. So that means, in that month it is hoped that the price of rice can be reduced.
Then the Head of the National Food Agency (Bapanas) Arief Prasetyo revealed that the Indonesian Government was indeed experiencing a shortage of rice reserves of 2.4 million tons from January to February 2024, causing the price of rice to become expensive on the market.
In an effort to meet the shortage of rice stocks, the Government will import rice because the main domestic harvest season will only occur in March 2024.
Apart from that, the cause of the shortage of rice stocks belonging to the Indonesian Government from January to February itself was because farmers were disturbed so they could not plant rice due to El Nino. Therefore, to balance this, the government implemented importation measures.
Even though imports have to be carried out, of course all the steps taken have been very well-measured according to needs, so that they will in no way disrupt price stability at the local farmer level.
One indication that can be seen from the Food Crop Farmer Exchange Rate (NTPP) is currently the highest at 116.16 percent, thus making farmers even more enthusiastic about planting their rice.
To welcome the harvest which is predicted to fall in March 2024, Bapanas together with the Ministry of Agriculture (Kementan) and all other related parties will coordinate to prepare optimal absorption, to prevent falling prices at the farmer level. All the steps taken are clear evidence that the Indonesian Government is indeed very optimal in its efforts to deal with the current shortage of rice on the market.