President Jokowi Gives Directions to Stabilize Rice Prices and Improve Farmers’ Prosperity
Rice prices are currently undergoing adjustments, but the public does not need to worry because President Jokowi immediately gave directions to stabilize rice prices. Apart from stabilizing rice prices, the government is also determined to improve the welfare of farmers so that their lives improve.
Rice is a basic need for Indonesian people. Therefore, public demand for rice will remain high. However, recently the price of rice has adjusted so it is a bit surprising. The price of rice has indeed increased slightly but is still considered reasonable.
President Jokowi stated that currently the government’s rice reserves are 1.6 million tons and will still increase. He targets the government’s rice reserves to reach 3 million tons. When supplies are sufficient or even exceed the target, it is hoped that rice prices will stabilize and fall again. This is in accordance with economic law, where when there is a large supply of goods that exceeds market demand, the price can be reduced.
While visiting the Bulog warehouse in Karawang, West Java a few days ago, President Jokowi gave directions to stabilize rice prices. Jokowi also instructed Perum Bulog to hold market operations (OP) in regions throughout Indonesia, both at the retail and wholesaler levels so that the price of rice at the consumer level falls.
In market operations, rice is sold for only Rp. 11,000 to 12,000 per kilogram, and this nominal is below the market price. When there is a market operation, the community really benefits because they can buy rice at a fairly affordable price.
So far, rice has experienced price adjustments due to the El Nino phenomenon, causing long periods of heat (drought) and having a negative impact on rice fields. There are several areas where harvests have failed due to the effects of drought so that the rice supply has not been in line with public demand. Another factor is the high price of fertilizer, due to the effects of the Russian and Ukrainian wars. So like it or not, the price of rice has to be adjusted.
The National Food Agency (Bapanas) noted that the price of premium rice, which was IDR 13,140 per kg in January, will increase to IDR 14,230 in mid-September 2023, while the medium type will increase from IDR 11,550 to IDR 12,580 per kg. This price is trying to be reduced so that it is stable and even small people can buy it.
The Main Director of Bulog, Budi Waseso, stated that the realization of rice imports that Bulog has controlled is 1.6 million tons, and the remaining 400 thousand tons are still in transit and some have already entered regions or areas throughout Indonesia.
Now rice is not piled up in one place, when in the past there was a lot of rice in Java, such as in Jakarta and East Java. But now they don’t, they send them directly to the regions, even in Papua they send them directly from Thailand to Papua. Bulog targets that all 2 million tonnes of imported rice will enter Indonesia by the end of November or early December 2023 at the latest.
Then, the government also wants farmers to prosper even though rice prices return to stability. General Chair of the Association of Indonesian Farmer Seed and Technology Banks (AB2TI) Dwi Andreas stated that when we talk about the average price of rice for the medium type, it is still fine. Based on PIHPS from July to February 2 2023 the increase was only 9.7%. Based on data from the Ministry of Trade from July 2022 to February 2023, the increase was only 10.6%.
Dwi Andreas added that the rice price adjustment has helped farming at this time. The current increase in rice prices has succeeded in causing the price of harvested dry unhulled grain (GKP) and rice at the farmer level to rise. From July 2022 to February 2023, the price of GKP at the farmer business level increased by 24.5% and the price of rice increased by 30.1%.
Farmers must benefit because they have worked hard in growing rice. The government is also trying to ensure that the price of grain given to farmers is in accordance with standards so that they do not suffer losses. So, even though rice prices have stabilized, farmers will still make a profit.
President Jokowi immediately gave directions to stabilize rice prices, by holding market operations and increasing the supply of rice in Bulog warehouses, so that rice supplies are met and prices can be reduced. With this instruction, it is hoped that the price of rice on the market will return to its previous stability.