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The Government’s Policy to Distribute Rice Aid to Control Inflation is Correct

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Providing rice assistance by the government through the Food Supply and Price Stabilization Program (SPHP) is one of the steps taken to control inflation due to rice prices in Indonesia which are predicted to continue to experience price increases until the end of 2023.

There was a slowdown in rice production during the long dry season, the effect of the super El Nino phenomenon had an impact resulting in reduced rice supplies from farmers. Dry rice fields due to the long dry season occurred in seven provinces including Aceh, North Sumatra, Riau, Riau Islands, NTT, NTB and Papua. Meanwhile, other provinces are experiencing low levels of drought.

The increase in the price of rice, which reached around 5-6 percent of the normal price in the last few months, has prompted the government to distribute food aid to poor people. Fluctuations in rice prices have an impact on the inflation rate.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said that the distribution of rice food aid would be carried out from early September to 3 months and ordered government officials to distribute 10 kilograms of rice aid to 21.3 million beneficiary families (KPM).

Rice assistance can help relieve pressure on rice prices which have an impact on the consumer price index, increase food reserves to maintain stock stability, reduce rice prices in the market and help control inflation in the regions until it declines gradually.

In the rice aid program, the government distributes around 210 thousand tonnes of rice aid every month with a quarterly stock allocation of 640 tonnes of rice from the Bulog warehouse. Currently, SPHP rice from Bulog has begun to be distributed to markets in each region.

The Cimahi government is collaborating with Perum Bulog Bandung Branch to hold a cheap rice market operation in 3 sub-districts in the Cimahi city area on September 10 2023.

To review the distribution, the Acting (PJ) Mayor of Cimahi City, H. Dikdik, said that the rice assistance helped ease the burden on the community in meeting basic needs and was a form of government attention to the community.

The cheap rice operation was carried out by the government to reduce inflation which has an impact on rice prices and is an intervention step that needs to be taken so that rice prices can return to stability.

Distribution of rice aid must be distributed on target where the recipients of the aid are beneficiary families (KPM), the distribution process needs to be appropriate and minimize errors in the field.

Head of the National Food Agency (NFA) Arief Prasetyo Adi said that the data on recipients of rice food assistance should be truly cross checked , so that it can remain targeted. In particular, distribution to 3TP (Disadvantaged, Outermost, Frontier and Border) areas requires effective delivery by sending aid packages for two or three months at once, in order to accelerate delivery so that it is delivered quickly.

The distribution of rice food aid to the community can provide great benefits and have a positive impact on economic stability and national food security and can reduce the price of rice on the market so that people do not need to worry and panic buy.

Muhammad Rudi was represented by the Regional Secretary of Batam City, Jefridin, M.Pd. said the regional government was asked to immediately distribute 21,353 tons of CPP rice to all regions from January to December and Batam City had started distributing Phase 2 of the Government’s Food Reserve Rice Assistance which was intended for 32,533 Beneficiary Families (KPM). The Batam Branch of the Logistics Affairs Agency (Bulog) stated that in stage 2, Batam City received an allocation of 3.25 tons of CPP rice 332 kg.

The hope is that the distribution of Phase 2 CPP rice can reduce the price of rice on the market so that it can reduce the inflation rate in Batam City. In this coordination meeting, the Regional Government was also asked to support data collection on MSMEs

In the rice statistics released by the Central Statistics Agency on September 1 2023, it was recorded that in February 2023 the rice inflation rate (month to month) was 2.63%. Then it decreased to 0.03% in July, but increased again to 1.43% in August 2023. Related to this, the share of rice inflation (month to month) of 0.08% in February also fell and increased again in August to reach 0 .05%.

PT Pos Indonesia (Persero) Financial Services Business Director Haris said that of the targeted 3.5 million KPM data, approximately 3.4 million families had been distributed nationally. Even though the distribution of basic food assistance and the PKH program is being carried out well, Pos Indonesia is determined to maintain and even improve the quality of services to distribute similar assistance in the future. This rice food aid is considered capable of reducing the rate of increase in rice prices from April to July 2023, thus having an impact on maintaining the general inflation rate.

A number of improvements, innovations and better changes have been carried out gradually to maintain credibility as a distributor of aid, especially in front of the government so that rice prices can fall back to normal and reduce inflation.

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