President Jokowi Orders Cabinet to Maintain Rice Price Stability
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has ordered Minister of Trade Zulkifli Hasan, Head of the National Food Agency Arief Prasetyo Adi, and President Director of the State Logistics Agency (BULOG) Budi Waseso to maintain rice price stability.
“This is a matter of distribution, a matter of market operation. Minister of Trade is in charge of stabilizing the prices, while I’m in charge of distributing rice and Mr. Arief, the National Food Agency is the one that calculates the balance, the needs,” Budi said at the Presidential Palace Complex in Jakarta following a limited meeting led by President Jokowi, Tuesday (01/31).
Budi pointed out that BULOG has prepared 315,000 tons of rice to be distributed through market operation, adding that BULOG also has supplies of imported rice, including premium-quality rice.
“We will distribute rice, including imported rice with premium quality, but we will still sell it at Rp8,300,” he said.
Budi also urged everyone, including the public, to work together to monitor rice distribution to prevent hoarding and surging prices.
“If we don’t, there will be hoarding. Once again, the rice is premium rice, so the normal price is expensive. We hope it will still be sold at an affordable price because it is already affordable from BULOG,” he said.
On that occasion, Budi also stressed that BULOG is ready to buy farmers’ production in the upcoming harvest season.
In the meantime, Head of the National Food Agency Arief Prasetyo Adi stated that based on the data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS), the harvest season will peak in February and March and the yields will fill food estates.
Arief further said that the National Food Agency has ordered BULOG to purchase 2.4 million tons of domestic yields; 70 percent of which will be purchased in the first harvest season, while the rest will be purchased at the end of the year.
“I have ordered BULOG to purchase 2.4 million tons this year, so we certainly must empty BULOG’s warehouses,” Arief remarked. (FID/TGH/UN) (DH/MMB)