President flags off 1,034-ton rice market operation

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) here on Friday launched a market operation to distribute 1,034 tons of rice in five major cities of the country.

The head of state was accompanied by State Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno and President Director of the National Logistic Board (Bulog) Jarot Kusumayakti during the event.

Besides rice, six tons of beef and a truckload of sugar will also be distributed as part of the market operation.

The rice, beef, and sugar are meant for distribution in the markets in Jakarta, Medan in North Sumatra, Bandung in West Java, Semarang in Central Java, and Surabaya in East Java.

The market operation has been launched as the price of rice increased by around two percent.

"(This market operation) is aimed at preventing a price hike and to ensure that the prices remain at a normal and affordable level," Jokowi stated.

The operation is expected to help reduce the price of rice by Rp300-500 per kilogram.

He noted that the rice stock of Bulog reached 1.7 million tons, which was considered safe.

Some rice-producing regions, such as Karawang in West Java as well as East and Central Java are expected to harvest paddy in the near future.(*)