"Why we import? To ensure the availability of food stock, to stabilize the price," Joko Widodo said during the second round of presidential debate here on Sunday.
The government should have food stock to anticipate disasters and crop failure.
In 1984, he noted, Indonesia had achieved rice self-sufficiency with production reached 21 million tons. In 2018 rice production has reached 33 million tons.
With level of consumption of around 29 million tons, there is a surplus of around 2.8 million tons.
The second debate took place at the Sultan Hotel Jakarta on Sunday night and was guided by two moderators, Tommy Tjokro and Anisha Dasuki.
Debates with the theme of energy, natural resources, environment, food and infrastructure will only be followed by candidates.
The 2019 presidential election was followed by two pairs of candidates, Jokowi-Ma`ruf and Prabowo-Sandiaga.
Reporting by Razi Rahman
Editing by Aziz Kurmala/Sri Haryati
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