Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution has scrutinized the rice production forecast by the Agriculture Ministry as often missing the target.

"It is the Agriculture Ministry that has the authority to issue the (rice production) data. However, it misses the target every year. We have asked for a revision, but it still carries the same data," he stated here on Wednesday night.

Accurate data related to rice production forecast is important as it affects the government`s policy on rice imports, he noted.

Nasution scrutinized the rice production forecast of 13.7 million tons in the first quarter of this year, consisting of 2.5 million tons in January, 4.7 million tons in February, and 6.8 million tons in March.

However, when he held a coordination meeting on March 19, 2018, he disclosed that the medium-and premium-class rice stocks stood at only 590 thousand tons, falling short of the stocks of 903 thousand tons as of Jan 15, 2018.

The rice stocks are not too large as average monthly rice consumption stands at 2.4 million tons.

He held another coordination meeting on March 28, 2018 as the harvest time would end soon. At the meeting, the government decided to import one million tons of rice, bringing the total rice imports to 2 million tons for the entire year.

"The rice production forecast was 6.5 million tons (in March 2018). Although the stocks rose to 649 thousand tons, the increase means nothing. The grand harvest would come to end soon and we hope the stocks will be alright in the future," he asserted.

Reporting by Calvin Basuki
Editing by Suharto, Andi Abdussalam

Reporter: antara
Editor: Heru Purwanto
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