Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Food Agency (Bapanas) has secured 1.3 million tons of rice in the Government's Rice Reserve (CBP) as of November 13, with 0.9 million tons acquired through domestic procurement.

"By the end of this year, CBP is targeted to have 1.2 million tons of rice," said Arief Prasetyo Adi, the Head of Bapanas, on Monday.

He mentioned that his agency will also absorb domestic rice production during the peak harvest period, expected in May and June next year.

"Domestic production needs to be prioritized in strengthening the national rice stock," he said.

The total amount of rice from CBP that has been distributed to the community has reached 2.1 million tons, Adi said.

This includes 0.9 million tons of rice distributed through the Food Supply and Price Stabilization (SPHP) program and 1.2 million tons in the form of social assistance.

He said that Bapanas is responsible for conducting comprehensive calculations of the national stock needs and ensuring sufficient supplies from domestic or other sources.

If there is price volatility in the market, the agency will disburse the rice stock through market intervention and social assistance to stabilize the price, he stated.

Adi hinted at the possibility of a late harvest season due to the delayed planting period caused by the prolonged dry season.

However, Bapanas remains optimistic regarding the domestic production to meet the CBP needs, he added.

He explained that 70 percent of domestic rice production can be harvested in the first semester, with the rest in the second semester.

"Therefore, the first half of the harvest season must be successful," he noted.

Data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2022 showed that Indonesia was the fourth-largest rice producer in the world after China, India, and Bangladesh.

In 2022, Indonesia's rice production was recorded at 31.5 million tons, and consumption reached 30.1 million tons.

While there is a surplus, the government will still import rice in 2023 as the domestic production is estimated to reach 30 million tons.

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Translator: Kuntum Khaira R, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Anton Santoso
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