The Government Continues to Accelerate the Distribution of Bulog Rice to Lower Market Prices
In order to reduce the price of rice on the market, the Government continues to accelerate the distribution of rice from the Logistics Affairs Agency (Bulog). This distribution is increasingly accelerated by selling Bulog rice stocks commercially in the community, so that people do not need to worry later regarding the availability and price of rice on the market.
The impact of El Nino is really felt by the Indonesian people, especially the impact on food in Indonesia such as rice. Farmers still find it difficult to plant rice in the middle of the dry season due to the impact of the current El Nino, so rice stocks are also running low in the community. The high demand for rice with limited rice stocks has made the government think about stabilizing rice prices and meeting rice demand on the market.
In recent months, rice prices have continued to soar. Quoting data from the Strategic Food Price Information Center (PIHPS) on May 1 last month, the average national rice price was still at IDR 12,800 per kg, but as the day went by the price of rice continued to increase until Monday (9/10) it became Rp. 14,5500 per kg. The increasing price of rice is making people worried. Because rice is the main staple food of Indonesian people which can be said to be mandatory consumption.
Nevertheless, the government continues to strive to stabilize rice prices with circulating rice stocks. Due to the impact of El Nino which is still hitting Indonesia, the government inevitably resorts to imports to meet the need for rice stocks for the people amidst so much demand. That way, the price of rice will be stable and people’s needs can also be met.
Acting Minister of Agriculture, Arief Prasetyo Adi, said that President Jokowi asked his rice milling friends to drop off Bulog rice and then sell it commercially on the market. Rice millers who do not have dry harvested grain should just buy it and then resell it. Because that way, it will speed up the distribution of rice in the community.
Arief also emphasized that the Bulog rice distributed was not government rice reserves (CBP) but commercial rice which was specifically intended for buying and selling. So, with such a strategy, people no longer need to worry about rice stocks and prices. Because the Indonesian government has stabilized the price of rice on the market.
Meanwhile, the Main Director of the Public Company for the Logistics Affairs Agency (Dirut Perum Bulog), Budi Waseso, said that the Phase II Food Assistance program which will be carried out from September to November 2023 aims to reduce the current fluctuation in rice prices. The rice aid distributed over 3 months with a total amount of around 640,590 tonnes to 21.3 million Beneficiary Families (KPM) is expected to have an effective impact like the previous Phase I Food Aid.
Budi added that the government’s current efforts are to distribute 10 kg of food aid rice per KPM to 21.3 million families. They will receive 10 kg of rice every month for the 3 months that Food Assistance is provided. Then secondly, Bulog also carries out operations in various markets and retail. Then, rice will be poured down massively on everything, so that in the future it is hoped that the price of rice will fall slowly and evenly.
Apart from Bulog’s efforts to distribute Bulog rice to rice millers, another strategy has also been added, namely accelerating the increase in rice import quotas to 1.5 million tonnes by the end of 2023, which was previously approved by the Head of State.
Efforts to import rice will be carried out in stages, thus ensuring that the availability of rice stocks is still long. At least, it is projected that as many as 600 thousand tons must be entered by December 31, 2023.
For information, efforts to import up to 1.5 million tons of rice come from various countries, where import activities will come via shipments to as many as eight ports throughout Indonesia. To ensure that distribution can be carried out as quickly as possible, coordination has also been carried out with Pelindo to speed up the unloading of rice at all ports.
In order to reduce and stabilize the price of rice on the market, the Government is implementing a series of strategies, one of which is focusing on accelerating the commercial distribution of rice stocks originating from Bulog to the public.