Bulog President Director Djarot Kusumayakti stated in Jakarta on Tuesday that the farmers had, so far, faced difficulties in improving the quality of their harvest due to the absence of post-harvest infrastructure facilities in villages.
The infrastructure facilities needed by the farmers include harvesting equipment, rice hullers, drier machines, silos to store unhulled rice, and packing machines.
"This year, Bulog will receive Rp2 trillion in the form of state participation capital (PMN) from the government that will be used as investment for developing post-harvest infrastructure for rice, maize, and soybean," he noted.
Djarot said the PMN funds would be utilized to build a modern integrated rice milling plant, with a capacity to process one million tons of equivalent hulled rice in production centers.
The rice milling facility will use drying technology to be supported by 22 drying centers, 17 milling facilities, and 80 silos.
"This is to reduce post-harvest shrinkage, increase the quantity of unhulled rice, and improve the quality of rice yields," he noted.
A rice-to-rice machine facility will also be built, with a capacity of 250 thousand tons per annum, to process rice based on the desired quality.
The logistics board will also build 11 drying centers; 64 maize silos, with a total capacity of 192 thousand tons; and 13 soybean storage warehouses, with a capacity of 45 thousand tons, in the production centers.
On the occasion, Djarot denied rumors that Bulog is reluctant to purchase the farmers rice or maize due to inferior quality.
He said whenever a complaint is received that Bulog is reluctant to buy the farmers rice during the harvest period, he directly sends a team to investigate the case.
In fact, the rice offered by the farmers to us was spoiled due to wind or rain and only contained lime while his side had to sell it in the form of rice, he noted.
"We do not have the courage to buy it because we do not have adequate dryers," he pointed out.
Hence, by installing adequate post-harvest infrastructure facilities, Bulog is optimistic that it would be able to increase its capacity to absorb the farmers rice stocks, he remarked.