Jakarta (ANTARA) - The government ensured that national food stocks are sufficient to face the Ramadan month and the Eid al-Fitr celebrations this year falling from March to April, Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan stated.

Hasan made the statement after a limited meeting chaired by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) at the Presidential Palace, here on Thursday, where they discussed the preparation of staple food stocks, especially rice, chicken, and eggs.

"We also discussed the supply of corn because it is feed for laying hens and for chicken meat. Corn supplies affect chicken and egg prices," Minister Hasan remarked.

Hasan noted that the government has decided to accelerate the import of 600 thousand tons of rice, which is the rest of last year's import target, in addition to the import target of two million tons of rice for 2024.

The government is also preparing for market operations in order to supervise the distribution of the cheap Food Supply and Price Stabilization (SPHP) rice.

"Although Eid al-Fitr is still a long time away, we have begun to discuss the preparations beforehand," he remarked.

Earlier, the National Food Agency (Bapanas) estimated that the national rice stock, which reached four million tons in early 2024, is relatively sufficient to meet the needs for Eid.

"It is relatively sufficient to face Eid al-Fitr because some regions have entered harvest (season) in January and some will in February and March," Bapanas' Deputy for Food Availability and Stabilization I Gusti Ketut Astawa told ANTARA last week.

Bapanas also absorbs early rice harvest from domestic farmers in several regions in January in addition to rice imports from India and Thailand, with a total of three million tons that are targeted to arrive before April.

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Translator: Yashinta P, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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