President Joko Widodo Meets Businessmen and Merchants to Anticipate Price of Rice
President Joko Widodo asked businessmen and rice mill enterpreneurs to support the program of the Government to achieve food self-sufficiency. He told that invitation in his remark when hosting a lunch for the rice mill enterpreneurs, rice businessmen, and rice merchants in Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi (Jabodetabek) at the State Palace, Jakarta on Monday (28/9).
The invitation is aimed at anticipating an abundant rice production in the future. Moreover, the rice harvest attended by the President last time in Karawang could produce 13.4 tons per hectare.
President Widodo instructed Minister of Agriculture Amran Sulaiman to distribute rice seeds all over Indonesia including new farms.
He stated that Indonesia must be ready for an increase of rice production. This increase must be advantageous not only for farmers, millers, and merchants but also for society.
No parties is aggrieved in this case, President Widodo said.
According to the President, he always monitors the market price from the report of the Ministers, the State Logistics Agency (Bulog) or directly monitors the price in market. If it is difficult to be controlled, we will conduct a market operation or find another solution, he noted.
Concern about Rice Stocks
On that occasion, President Joko Widodo expressed his concern about the number of national rice stock which is smaller than that in other countries.
Who knows how much rice stock do we have? China has 40 million tons of rice stocks. The Philippines has 2.5 million tons of rice stock whereas a total number of its citizen is only 90 million people, the President said while hoping that Perum Bulog should have at least 10 million tons.
Therefore, the President asked the farmers to work hard to produce rice. Last time, in Karawang, I saw that 1 hectare of land can produce about 13.4 tons of rice. Perhaps, in the reality, it can produce 10.7 tons per hectare, he said.
According to the President, beside saving the rice stock, it can also be exported.
President Widodo asked the businessmen to work well because he was a businessmen so that he really understands the trick of a merchant and what should be done to tackle the trick.
I do not want to disadvantage you. We are working together for the goodness of this country, the people and all of us, he stated.
Furthermore, the President instructed BULOG to buy all production of rice from the farmers in the future. All! Do not say that BULOGs warehouse is full. Since now on, BULOG must think about how many warehouse should be provided, he stated.
Accompanying President Joko Widodo on that occasion were Minister of Trade Thomas Lembong, Minister of Agriculture Amran Sulaiman,Presidential Chief of Staff Teten Masduki, and Managing Director of Perum BULOG Djarot Kusumayakti. (WID/DNS/ES) (JS/MMB/YM-Naster/Sy)