Rice stock sufficient until grand harvest: Minister

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The national rice stock remains sufficient until the grand harvest in March this year at numerous regions in Sumatra, Java, and Sulawesi, according to Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman.

"Our national rice stock is adequate. We have 1.2 million tons of rice in the warehouses of the State Logistics Agency (Bulog), which is ready to be distributed to every region," the minister remarked after overseeing the market operations at the Cipinang main rice market on Wednesday.

Amran noted that the rice stock will be distributed to every region in Indonesia, especially in the areas that need rice supply through market operations.

"We will distribute it to all regions across the country, especially in the areas that require the supply of rice," the agriculture minister reiterated.

Amran has forecast that 1.2 million tons of rice stock will be adequate to meet the nations rice needs until the grand harvest in March.

"God willing, the national stock will be sufficient, without including the imported rice since we will also harvest one million hectares of rice fields in March. This means we will harvest six million tons of rice," he remarked.

Speaking in reference to the market operations at the Cipinang market to last until the harvest period, the minister noted that the Agriculture Ministry and Bulog will distribute 150 thousand tons of rice for the month of January.

The agriculture minister also affirmed that the market operations aim to maintain the rice price within the required range or at Rp8,300 per kilogram (kg) in the market.

Amran added that the rice distributed by Bulog is of medium and premium grade.

"We distribute medium to premium grade rice, with the price ranging between Rp7,500 and Rp8,300 per kg in the market to the end users," added Amran.(*)