Jakarta (ANTARA) - National Food Agency (Bapanas) Head Arief Prasetyo Adi stated that the agency currently seeks to increase government rice stocks (CBP) to reach three million tons to maintain food security as instructed by President Joko Widodo.

"The stock in Bulog (State Logistics Agency) will continue to be maintained above one million tons. However, the president asked to increase the stock to reach close to three million tons," he remarked when confirmed here on Wednesday.

Adi explained that this aims to ensure that under any circumstances, including the El Nino phenomenon, the state has stocks that are ready to be distributed to the community.

Bapanas recorded that as of December 5, 2023, rice stocks stored by Bulog stood at 1.5 million tons. Furthermore, state-run food holding company ID FOOD is managing 2,260 tons of rice, while the Regional Provincial Government Rice Stocks (CBPP) stood at 6,735 tons.

Adi noted that one of the efforts to strengthen the CBP is optimizing domestic harvests. The agriculture minister stated that the planting target reached at least one million hectares, so in one month, more than 2.5 million tons can be harvested.

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The agency head explained that if the planting area can be increased to 1.5 million or two million hectares, then it would not be necessary to import rice, as the needs can be met by domestic stocks.

"We must work hand in hand to strengthen CBP and prioritize domestic production, of course," he remarked.

He further noted that the Bapanas is working to ensure the availability of CBP across the country.

"The president ordered me, as the head of the National Food Agency, to ensure (the availability of) rice stocks to Eastern Indonesia, as well as Central Indonesia. All must be available," he remarked.

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Translator: Kuntum Khaira, Raka Adji
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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