Bogor, W Java (ANTARA) - The House of Representatives (DPR) has called on the National Food Agency (Bapanas) to meet a demand for the government's rice reserve stock, as the State Logistics Agency's (Bulog's) stocks were recorded at 651,437 tons.

The House's request for the agency to fulfil the rice reserve stock was one of the four points that BPN head, Arief Prasetyo Adi, and the House's members had agreed on during their hearing session here, Wednesday.

At the four-hour-long hearing session, Adi told members of the House's Commission IV that as of Nov 13, 2022, Bulog's rice stocks were recorded at 651,437 tons, so it needs to be increased up to 1.2 million tons.

In increasing the stocks, procuring rice from local farmers is prioritized, he stated at a hearing session with members of the House's commission that oversees agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and food production.

In response to maintaining the government's rice stocks, a legislator suggested that it necessarily be secured at one million tons and that rice procurement is prioritized from local farmers instead of importing it.

At the hearing, Adi also drew the attention of members of parliament to the daily food price fluctuations.

Adi said the prices of harvested dry grain (GKP), dried milled grain (GKG), and medium-quality rice had tended to keep increasing since July this year.

The prices of GKP at the farmers' level had increased 15.7 percent, while the prices of GKG at the rice mills' level had gone up 11.4 percent, while the prices of medium-quality rice had risen 4.26 percent, he pointed out.

Regarding the government's rice reserve stock, a legislator proposed that it necessarily be secured at one million tons and that it be procured from local farmers rather than importing it.

Meanwhile, at the hearing session, Bulog President Director Budi Waseso elaborated his agency's 2023 operational planning.

According to Waseso, Bulog has set a target of providing 1,112,050 tons of grains/rice from local farmers and fulfilling the government's rice reserve stock of 1.3 million tons.

The agency has also planned to distribute 1,015,000 tons of rice for the program of availability of supplies and price stabilization (KPSH), disaster, and "Golang", he stated.

In 2023, Bulog will also distribute 150 thousand tons of soybean and 50 thousand tons of corn for the government's Public Service Obligation (PSO) Program as well as 350 thousand tons of commercial rice, he added.

The hearing session was also attended by president directors of state-owned staple food company PT Rajawali Nusantara Indonesia and state-owned fertilizer holding firm PT Pupuk Indonesia.

Bapanas was formed on the basis of Presidential Regulation No. 66 of 2021 as part of the government's endeavors to help stabilize staple food supplies in Indonesia.

The agency has authority over staple foods, such as rice, soybeans, eggs, corn, onions and shallots, sugar, chili, bovine meat, and poultry meat.

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Reporter: Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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