President Jokowi Hopes Grand Harvest Can Increase National Rice Supply
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo Sunday (10/08) joined farmers and local residents in the grand rice harvest in Ciasem Girang village, Subang regency, West Java province.
In his statement after the harvest, President Jokowi expressed hope that the second half of this year’s harvests in several regions could increase national rice supply.
“We are happy with the results. I think one hectare [of rice field] can produce nine metric tons [of rice]. It is very productive and we hope rice supply produced from these harvests can increase our rice supply,” he said.
However, the President acknowledged that the harvest is still unable to meet national rice needs; hence, it is necessary to increase national rice supply to up to 1.5 million metric tons by the end of this year.
“But it is still not enough. Bulog (the State Logistics Agency) already has 1.7 million metric tons of national rice supply and it still needs to add approximately 1.5 million metric tons by the end of this year,” he said, adding that the measure is needed because national rice production will drop due to the drought caused by the El Nino phenomenon.
“That (El Nino) is the problem. That’s why we need to add 1.5 million metric tons to our rice supply because El Nino will bring an impact on production and existing harvests,” he added.
Regarding rice prices, the President said that more rice supplies are needed to be distributed to the markets to reduce prices.
“We have to overcome this [problem] by distributing and supplying rice as much as possible to the market to reduce prices,” he said.
Joining the President during the event were Head of the National Food Agency who also serves as Acting Minister of Agriculture Arief Prasetyo Adi, Acting West Java Governor Bey Machmudin, and Subang Regent Ruhimat. (BPMI SETPRES/AIT)(TM/MEP)