Food stocks adequate until May

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - National food stocks are adequate to meet domestic demand until May next year, Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman has guaranteed.

"We guarantee that this stock is enough to meet the needs until May next year. Next March will be the peak period of the rice harvest, so we will surely have no problems with food stocks, as our rice is enough. And we hope that the threat of climate anomalies is over," the minister said in Jakarta Friday.

In anticipation of the bad season that usually happens between December and February, the Ministry of Agriculture has increased the acreage of rice fields between July and September 2016, Amran said.

In July 2016, the rice plantation areas reached 917,157 hectares, while in 2015 there were only 644,091 hectares, according to him.

Then in August 2016, the plantation areas covered 952,633 hectares. The additional acreage of rice plantation areas soared from the previous years 566,782 hectares.

"Likewise, the acreage in September this year is believed to have increased. In September 2015, the acreage was 799,295 hectares," he said.

With that in mind, Amran called on the people to remain calm and not to worry about food supply. Even if there was a famine or crop failure, the countrys food supply was still sufficient to cover the food needs of the people as supply still reached 2.6 million tons of rice per month, Amran believed.

"If Indonesia is usually in deficit with regard to rice, now it is in surplus," he said. (*)