"In principle, rice will be imported in an urgent scenario and for (rice) stocks. For now, based on data of the Agriculture Ministry and the State Logistics Agency, (the stock) is adequate," Ichdan remarked during a discussion here on Thursday.
Ichdan noted that the Trade Ministry's initiative to import one million tons of rice was merely a precautionary measure if production during the harvesting season were to fall below the target.
Hence, the government will only import rice when the situation necessitates it and supply is inadequate to meet the local demand.
"If we missed the target and rice stocks stand below one million tons, while demand continued to increase for the social assistance program, then we will need to import," he remarked.
The policy to import rice would be adopted by the government to maintain a balance of ecosystem in the production, distribution, and consumption processes.
The import is aimed at maintaining rice stocks and stabilizing the price as a result of shortages.
"The government not only observed the production capacity of the existing (rice) stock but also looked at the stabilization of prices," Ichdan stated.
The government had earlier planned to import some one million tons of rice in early 2021.
The import was allocated for the government's rice reserves (CBP) supply of 500 thousand tons and Bulog’s requirements for 500 thousand tons by considering the absorption of nationally produced rice.
As of March 14, the total stock of rice available at Bulog's warehouses reached 883,585 tons, comprising 859,877 tons of CBP stocks and 23,708 tons of commercial rice stocks.
The stock is viewed as being sufficient to meet commercial requirements for the Child Social Welfare (KPSA) Program and for disaster emergency response in line with the requirements of Bulog.
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