Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia is still storing sufficient stocks of various basic commodities, including rice, to meet the needs of the people ahead of this year's Ramadan fasting month, Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan has confirmed.

"We have secured sufficient supplies of staples, especially rice," Hasan remarked at the Trade Ministry Building, Jakarta, on Sunday.

He made the statement after the launch of a book titled "Achievements of Trade Minister in 2023: Bring Progress to Trade with Zulkifli Hasan" and a morning exercise with officials at his office.

Hasan, however, noted that Indonesia does experience disruption to food supplies at home. For that reason, he said that the government had imported two million tons of rice in 2023 and would get another two million tons this year.

"Earlier, Bulog (state-run logistics company) had imported about two million tons. This year, we will secure another two million tons," he pointed out.

The minister then placed emphasis on the importance of ensuring sufficient stocks of basic commodities to welcome the 2024 Ramadan month in the midst of increases in the prices of several staples.

"Most importantly, the stocks will suffice," he said.

As cited from the website of the National Food Agency (Bapanas), prices of a number of staple goods had increased during the period from January 28 to February 4 this year.

For instance, prices of premium-grade rice rose from Rp12,240 (US$0.78) to Rp15,610 (US$0.99) per kilogram, pure beef from Rp134,230 (US$8.57) to Rp134,930 (US$8.61) per kg and curly red chilies from Rp49,410 (US$3.15) to Rp51,040 (US$3.25) per kg.

On Thursday (February 1), Head of Bapanas Arief Prasetyo revealed that the government had secured sufficient stocks of food commodities ahead of Ramadan in March 2024.

He said that the government has taken various measures for ensuring sufficient food for the country, including by accelerating agricultural production, implementing food diversification programs, and distributing rice aid.

Prasetyo also informed that the government is planning to increase its food reserves that include rice, corn, soybean, shallot and garlic, chilies, poultry, egg, beef, sugar, fish, and cooking oil.

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Translator: Putu Indah, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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