Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Food Agency (Bapanas) has asked state-owned and private food companies that have been assigned sugar import quotas by the government to accelerate the realization of imports, which has so far only reached 26 percent.

The total quota for sugar imports for this year is capped at 1.01 million tons.

"Our partners in those companies, including state-owned food companies RNI and PTPN, that are in charge of import quota, should realize the imports as soon as possible," said Arief Prasetyo Adi, Head of Bapanas, during the Simultaneous Cheap Food Movement event in Jakarta on Monday.

One of the reasons for the low realization is that the private companies only carry out imports when the prices overseas are lower, he said.

However, the main purpose of sugar imports by the companies is to help the government meet national sugar reserves, he emphasized.

Adi said that his agency will review the selling reference price (HAP) for sugar so that importers do not experience losses.

At the same event, President Director of Rajawali Nusantara Indonesia (RNI) Frans Marganda Tambunan confirmed the Bapanas' plan to adjust the HAP to boost the realization of sugar imports.

He said that the realization of sugar imports must be accelerated as price increases occurred in 300 districts and cities in September 2023, according to Statistics Indonesia.

Therefore, sugar prices will likely become increasingly high at the end of the year, he added.

"We will see the timing. We will not supply when there is still a lot of stock in the community. This is for a buffer, especially in anticipation of price increases in January. We definitely see that, and usually, we discuss it with farmers," he explained.

RNI and PT Perkebunan Nusantara (PTPN) III have been assigned to import sugar with the quota for each being 107,900 tons.

Besides them, there are 16 private companies with a total quota of 796,000 tons of raw sugar.

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Translator: Kuntum Khaira, Raka Adji
Editor: Anton Santoso
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