Indramayu, W Java (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated that national food production is still in good condition despite the El Nino phenomenon having caused drought and a decline in production capacity.

"I am reviewing down to the lower level to ensure that the production is still good, though indeed, it declined due to the super El Nino," he remarked while reviewing a harvest in Indramayu, West Java, on Friday.

Jokowi noted that the impact of El Nino does not need to be perceived as causing horror for Indonesia's food security, as food production is still continuing.

"Production is still good, but it has been disrupted a bit by the super El Nino," he reiterated.

According to the president, rice production in Indramayu is still good due to optimal irrigation. Every one hectare of land can produce eight to nine tons of unhusked rice, or an average of 8.6 tons per hectare.

"The current prices of unhusked rice (make) all farmers happy, Rp7,300, Rp7,400, Rp7,200 (per kilogram), all the farmers are happy," he stated.

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The president noted that in order to control the rice price at the consumer level, rice stored by the State Logistics Agency (Bulog) must be distributed to markets at the earliest.

Currently, Bulog is storing 1.7 million tons of government rice reserves.

According to Jokowi, a rice supply of around 500 thousand to 600 thousand tons will soon arrive.

"Our food reserves are in safe condition, but we also need this rice to enter markets. The prices can go down little by little," Jokowi remarked.

According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, El Nino this year could reduce rice production by up to 1.2 million tons. The rice production target this year is to reach 30 million tons.

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Translator: Indra Arief, Raka Adji
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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