Jakarta (ANTARA) - The government is considering to temporarily halt rice aid distribution during the silence period leading up to the election voting, on February 11-14, 2024, National Food Agency (Bapanas) Head Arief Prasetyo Adi stated.

"We are considering to temporarily stop the aid distribution on the quiet day starting from February 11 until the voting on February 14, 2024," Adi remarked on Wednesday.

The decision regarding this matter will be published shortly. He said the state-run logistics agency (Bulog) has also made distribution plans throughout Indonesia.

The agency head stated that so far, the rice aid has been very effective in preventing price increases due to a decline in rice production.

He emphasized that rice aid had been planned long ago and was needed by low-income communities.

"This rice food aid is very effective in preventing price increases due to the decline in rice production," he emphasized.

Related news: Govt expands number of food aid recipients to 22 mln

The distribution of rice food aid by Bapanas is in line with the mandate of Law Number 18 of 2012 concerning Food and Presidential Decree 66 of 2021 where Bapanas has the responsibility to maintain food availability and stability.

Rice food assistance is a government program for the distribution of rice aid to low-income people who are part of beneficiary families. This program is one of the uses of government rice reserves in accordance with the mandate of Presidential Decree 125 of 2022 concerning the Management of Government Food Reserves.

This rice food assistance program has been carried out since early 2023 and will continue this year. Each beneficiary family receives 10 kilograms of rice per month. Rice aid distribution for this year started in January.

This social assistance is targeting 22 million beneficiary families throughout Indonesia based on data from the Acceleration of Extreme Poverty Elimination (P3KE) of the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture.

Related news: Bulog affirms no political agendas behind rice assistance disbursal

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Translator: Indra Arief P, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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