Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Food Agency (Bapanas) is exploring cooperation with India to strengthen food availability and thereby, stabilize food prices in Indonesia.

Bapanas head Arief Prasetyo Adi visited New Delhi, India, to discuss the cooperation with the Indonesian Ambassador to India, Ina Hagniningtyas Krisnamurthi.

"The Indonesian government aims to ensure food availability and stabilize food prices for domestic interests and trade balance. This goal requires support from many parties and stakeholders, including the support of friendly countries," Adi said in a statement received on Tuesday.

His visit to India was prompted by the Indian government's restrictions on trade. Indonesia needs rice supplies from India to strengthen domestic rice stocks.

Earlier, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) directed the agency to ensure the availability of Government Rice Reserve (CBP) stock of 3 million tons. As of December 5, 2023, CBP stocks controlled by state-run logistic company Bulog stood at just 1.5 million tons.

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"This visit is part of Indonesia's efforts to ensure that food availability in Indonesia comes from the best sources at competitive prices. This visit also aims to optimize cooperation with various parties in providing domestic food," Adi said.

Besides reviewing cooperation related to rice supply, he also persuaded India to fulfill the availability of 150 thousand tons of buffalo meat for domestic needs.

During the meeting, Ambassador Krisnamurthi conveyed the need to increase investment in Indonesia to encourage advanced development.

Besides meeting with the ambassador, Adi was scheduled to visit Lulu Mall and the meat processing industry in Lucknow. He will also go to Aurangabad and Mumbai to complete several agendas related to food in India.

To maintain food prices in Indonesia, the government is distributing CBP to the community to keep the prices from soaring due to crop harvest failure caused by El Nino.

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Translator: Kuntum Khaira R, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Arie Novarina
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