Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's rice stocks are estimated to reach 4.7 million tons until the end of this year, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto stated.

The National Logistics Agency (Bulog) was tasked with maintaining rice stocks of over one million tons, Hartarto informed the press following a virtual limited cabinet meeting chaired by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) here on Tuesday.

Hartarto noted that Bulog will absorb 900 thousand to 1.4 million tons of grains of the farmers.

Furthermore, in a bid to support the government's social assistance program by distributing 450 thousand tons of rice to the poor, Bulog will also absorb more milled dry grain (GKG) produced by farmers.

Minister of Agriculture (Mentan) Syahrul Yasin Limpo noted that the national stocks of 11 commodities -- rice, corn, shallots, garlic, large chili, cayenne pepper, beef, buffalo meat, chicken eggs, cooking oil, and granulated sugar -- are projected to remain safe until June.

The trade balance of the 11 commodities is safe until June and under the government’s control, Limpo stated.

"No obstacle is expected to be encountered in the distribution nor ground dynamics that could cause instability in prices," the agriculture minister stated.

In April 2020, President Jokowi had urged officials to ensure accurate assessment of Indonesia’s rice stocks, as the nation enters the fasting month of Ramadhan and the dry season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The president’s directive came on the back of a warning issued by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations forecasting that the COVID-19 pandemic could trigger a global food crisis.

"Ensure that our rice stocks are sufficient. Please, calculate them accurately. Moreover, make a precise prediction of our rice production as we are entering the dry season. How long will our national rice reserves last?" he told the concerned authorities. Related news: Rice management key to mitigating food crisis: President
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Translator: Rangga PAJ, Fardah
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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