The Government Has Succeeded in Stabilizing Prices and Prospering Farmers
By: Mika Putri Larasati )*
The government succeeded in stabilizing rice prices thanks to massive market operations. The price of rice is gradually falling and becoming more affordable. On the other hand, the government continues to strive to improve the fate of farmers so that their welfare can continue to increase.
In recent months, rice prices have experienced adjustments. However, people don’t need to be confused because the government has succeeded in stabilizing the price of rice and it can be reduced. People hope that the price of rice will remain stable so that they can buy it continuously.
One of the government’s strategies for stabilizing rice prices is to carry out market operations. Head of the National Food Agency (NFA) Arief Prasetyo Adi said that rice market operations at the Cipinang Rice Main Market (PIBC) for three consecutive days caused rice prices to decline. The price of rice is currently at IDR 12,098 per kilogram.
Arief said that the supply of rice in the market continues to be strengthened as an effort to stabilize prices. President Joko Widodo’s first order was to flood markets starting from traditional markets, modern markets and the Cipinang Rice Main Market (PIBC).
According to Arief, President Jokowi has ordered the stabilization of the supply and price of rice through the distribution of SPHP rice at a price of IDR 10,900 per kg to consumers. There is a lot of stock and it will be coordinated with the Minister of Home Affairs in an Inflation Control Coordination Meeting with Governors, Regents and Mayors throughout Indonesia, so that this rice will be distributed through the Cheap Food Movement in all regions in Indonesia
President Jokowi, while visiting the Bulog Warehouse in Karawang, West Java, a few days ago also instructed Perum Bulog to hold market operations (OP), both at the retail and wholesaler levels, so that the price of rice at the consumer level would fall.
Market operations are really effective in stabilizing the price of rice so that it can be reduced, and not let it rise again. The government is trying hard so that all Indonesian people can enjoy rice at a reasonable price. Moreover, rice is a staple food.
Previously, rice shortages had the potential to occur considering that major producers such as India banned rice exports last July to meet domestic needs. However, the shortage is gradually normalizing because the rice supply in the Bulog warehouse is sufficient.
Meanwhile, East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa directly inspected the cheap market in an effort to maintain price stability for basic commodities, especially rice, in the Hall of Situbondo Regency.
Governor Khofifah stated that this cheap market is our effort to stabilize food supply and prices or SPHP. This cheap market was initiated by the East Java Provincial Government as an effort by the government to stabilize food prices, especially rice, the price of which continues to soar, in fact the price of medium rice currently reaches IDR 13,000 from previously only IDR 10,000 per kilogram.
At this cheap market, medium rice is sold for IDR 10,400 per kilogram, cooking oil IDR 13,000 per liter, 1 kg of granulated sugar IDR 14,000, eggs IDR 23,000 per kilogram, flour IDR 14,000 per kilogram.
Meanwhile, Deputy Head of the Bondowoso Branch of Perum Bulog, which oversees Situbondo, Nara Dhipa, stated that the cheap market activity provides premium, medium rice, cooking oil, granulated sugar, eggs and commercial wheat flour.
Nara Dhipa explained that Bulog’s role as a food security institution is to maintain safe rice stocks, including maintaining rice prices by stabilizing the price of medium rice so that it does not continue to rise.
Meanwhile, the government is also trying to ensure that farmers remain prosperous even though rice prices have been stabilized. When there is a big harvest, they also make a profit, they don’t make a loss because there is an excess stock of grain.
Head of the IPB Biotech Center, Dwi Andreas, stated that the current price of rice is being enjoyed by farmers who previously continued to suffer losses for the last three years.
The average Farmer Exchange Rate (NTP) 2021 – 2022 index published by BPS is 98.5, aka farmers suffer losses because production costs are above the selling price.
Farmers will only make a profit if the NTP is above 100, which will be achieved in August 2023 with an NTP of 111.85. Farmers’ losses from 2022 to mid-2023 for one planting from a rice field area of 2,000 m2, based on the results of an AB2TI study in 50 rice center districts, ranges from IDR 250,000 to IDR 1 million.
To overcome changes in rice prices, market operations are still an effective way. While waiting for the rice supply at Bulog to be sufficient, people can buy cheaper rice through market operations.
The government has succeeded in stabilizing the price of rice so that it is more affordable for ordinary people. This success was achieved thanks to many market operations. People are happy because the price of rice has decreased. Meanwhile, farmers are also happy because they are prosperous, because their grain is priced at a reasonable nominal amount.
)* The author is a contributor to Ruang Baca Nusantara