Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita and Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman have launched a market operation to distribute 75 thousand tons of medium-quality rice at the highest retail price (HET) of Rp8.1 thousand per kilogram.

Enggar explained that the market operation, which is being held from October 2017 to March 2018, will be carried out by government rice reserves from state logistic board (Bulog).

"The market operation for rice is aimed at meeting the needs of the people for medium-quality rice. We are now distributing it. Whatever the need, we will distribute it, because it is the rice from the government reserves," Enggar stated in Cipinang Rice Market, East Jakarta, on Tuesday.

The market operation is also being carried out to overcome the scarcity of medium-quality rice in Jakarta, especially after the implementation of the governments highest level of retail price (HET).

According to Enggar, the supply of medium-quality rice is actually available, but it is stored in merchant warehouses. Therefore, he expressed hope that the stored medium-quality rice would be sold to the market through the operation.

Market operations in Jakarta will be done by PT Food Station Tjipinang Jaya, as a regional government food firm (BUMD), within the Provincial Government of Jakarta. It will be carried out in collaboration with the Regional Board of Association of Rice and Rice Producers of Indonesia (Perpadi) DKI Jakarta.

For its implementation, PT Food Station will coordinate with related institutions, such as the Ministry of Trade, Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Jakarta Province, as well as the Food task Forces, for its supervision.

According to Arief Prasetyo Adi, Managing Director of PT Food Station, as the sole organizer of PIBC, the implementation of the market operation includes a number of rules that require accountability from merchants to ensure that the operations are carried out in accordance with established rules.

Arief explained that the market operation will not continue during harvest in order to facilitate the utilization of farmers rice by Bulog.

"I think there is no need to launch a market operation after harvest has been done. It is time for Bulog to take it, so that there would be a turnover, which should not be kept for too long," Arief revealed. (*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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