Agriculture Ministry ensures staple food availability until year-end

Agriculture Ministry ensures staple food availability until year-end

Some laborers amid stacks of rice at the State Logistics Board's warehouse in Krikilan, Sragen District, Central Java. (ANTARA/HO-Humas Bulog Surakarta)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Agriculture Ministry has ensured the availability of staple foods in safe and controlled conditions until the end of 2021 in accordance with the prognosis of 12 staple food commodities monitored by its Food Security Agency.

According to the food prognosis as of September 30, 2021, several food commodities entirely produced domestically, without taking into account the carryover surplus, are still in excess. Among other aspects, rice surplus amounts to 1.12 million tons, 1.43 million tons of corn, 450 thousand tons of chicken meat, and 42,500 tons of cooking oil. The data was taken from the Food Security Agency of the Agriculture Ministry in Jakarta on Thursday.

"The value of this balance surplus becomes even greater when taking into account the carryover surplus of the previous year. Rice surplus was recorded at 8.5 million tons; corn, 2.8 million tons; chicken meat, 465 thousand tons; and cooking oil, 618.5 thousand tons," Head of the Center for Food Distribution and Access to the Food Security Agency of the Agriculture Ministry Risfaheri stated.

As for commodities with a short shelf life, such as shallots, chilies, and eggs, there is always a monthly surplus.

"Of course, we are optimistic of no extreme climatic disturbances, so the estimated production can be achieved," he noted.

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Risfaheri remarked that staple food commodities, whose supplies were partially met from imports, such as garlic, sugar, and beef, still recorded a surplus until the end of the year while combining domestic production and imports. This excluded soybeans, whose balance is still in surplus when taking the carryover stock of the previous year into account.

"If the income plan matches expectations, the stock at the end of this year is estimated to be able to meet the needs for two to three months in early 2022, so that price fluctuations that often occur at the start of the year can be avoided," he remarked.

Based on monitoring of the Food Price Panel and Food Security Agency's price projections, strategic food prices were monitored to be stable until the end of the year, except for several staple food commodities. Those include cooking oil and beef whose prices were above the purchase reference price.

The Agriculture Ministry continues to increase the production of local beef. On the other hand, cooking oil is managed through an even distribution by cooperating with state-owned food companies to maintain the stability of supply and cooking oil prices across the region.

Although the national balance of staple food availability is in surplus, Risfaheri pays special attention to distribution between regions, especially in eastern Indonesia. The problem of uneven production distribution and constraints in the form of inter-regional connectivity often led to surplus supply in one region and deficit in other areas. 
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