Cilacap, C Java (ANTARA News) - Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman launched a new rice product, labeled as Premium 7,500 Rice, in Cilacap, Central Java, on Monday, in an effort to reduce the number of players in distribution channel.

The minister launched the Premium 7,500 rice product after conducting a grand rice harvest, together with the Indonesian Army Chief Gen Mulyono, Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo, Cilacap District Head Tatto Wuarto Pamuji and a number of government officials in Mernek Village, Maos, Cilacap District, Central Java.

Minister Sulaiman said the Premium 7,500 rice was bought from farmers at a fair price and was sold to consumers at a lower price.

"This means that we are creating a new market by shortening the distribution channel for rice," noted the minister.

He said the rice was bought from farmers at a price of Rp4,000 per kilogram. The rice was bought in the unhusked form and was sold as hulled premium rice at Rp7,500 per kilogram.

However, the minister said he did not rule out the possibility of the premium rice price increasing slightly in the future. "It can be raised slightly as long as it stays below the Rp8,000 per kilogram level," he said.

On the distribution of Premium 7,500 rice, the minister explained that his ministry has prepared 1,000 farmer shops in provinces which are rice producing centers.

Premium 7,500 rice venture is part of the efforts to stabilize rice prices. "We can see now that the rice prices have returned to normal, ranging from Rp7,500 to Rp8,000 per kilogram. So, we will go ahead with the program."

At a separate occasion, Head of the Food Resilience Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture, Gardjita Budi said the rice from which Premium Rice 7,500 is produced was bought from farmers at a price more than what is sanctioned by the government (HPP), so the farmers get the benefit. The unhusked rice is processed and sold to the farmer shops.

"The point is that the shops should not cause difficulties to the people while selling rice," he said. The farmer shops can sell the premium rice at Rp7,500 per kilogram directly because there is a shorter distribution channel.

Budi said his side has set a target of opening 1,000 farmer shops in 2016. About 150 shops had been opened in 2015 but they were still on a trial basis.



Editor: Suryanto
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