Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Food Agency (Bapanas) has urged regions to ensure that they have adequate stocks of strategic food commodities as part of anticipatory measures against changes in the weather as well as the El Nino phenomenon.

"Regional government, through its food agency, can conduct some anticipatory measures, such as by consistently coordinating with the BMKG (Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency), coordinating with the BPBD (Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency) in terms of preparedness and disaster mitigation," deputy for food and nutrition vulnerability at the agency, Nyoto Suwignyo, said in a statement received here on Friday.

He also urged agriculture offices to establish irrigation systems, ponds, and water pumps, and food offices to monitor food stocks and prices, and boost regional government food reserves (CPPD) by collaborating with region-owned companies and public food barns.

He informed that maintaining the government food reserves is one of the agency's duties, as listed in Presidential Regulation Number 66 of 2021 about the National Food Agency. The agency is pushing for additional supply to the reserve by optimizing the contribution of two stakeholders—the Bureau of Logistics (Bulog) and ID FOOD, he said.

"Bulog will focus on rice, corn, and soybeans reserves, whereas ID FOOD will prepare the sugar, onion, beef, chicken, and eggs, as well as cooking oil and fish reserves," Suwignyo added.

Head of the Bapanas, Arief Prasetyo Adi, informed that currently, the agency is pursuing efforts to ensure domestic food supply and stability by pushing for better national food reserves.

He disclosed that the effort has been initiated based on Presidential Regulation Number 125 of 2022 on government food reserves and derivatives of the National Food Agency’s Regulation Number 15 of 2022 and the Finance Ministry’s Regulation Number 152 of 2022 about guarantees in banking.

"If all of these work out, we are optimistic that the government food reserve —which contain 12 commodities that fall under the National Food Agency's authority— could support our food security," he said."We will always monitor, update, and report the developments so when intervention and prevention for emergency conditions is needed, we are ready to do it," he said.

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Translator: Kuntum Khaira R, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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