Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Director of state-run logistics company (Bulog), Bayu Krisnamurthi, confirmed that the distribution of rice aid from the government would resume on February 15, 2024, after the 2024 election voting on February 14.

"Food assistance distribution will resume on February 15," he stated at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Monday.

Earlier, the government had decided to temporarily stop the distribution of food aid sourced from the Government's Rice Reserve stock managed by Bulog on February 8-14, 2024, due to the election.

The cessation of food aid ahead of the election's quiet period and voting day also confirms no politicization on food aid, Krisnamurthi remarked.

He noted that the current rice stock in Bulog's warehouse amounted to 1.189 million tons.

According to Krisnamurthi, the rice stock in Bulog's warehouse had currently reached 1.189 million tons.

In addition, the government allocated two million tons of rice from imports, of which only 500 thousand tons had been realized.

He underscored the need for preparations to secure national rice stocks, especially while facing a famine that is expected to occur in June, July, and October.

Related news: Food aid suspended, but SPHP rice program to continue: Bapanas

Meanwhile, Head of the National Food Agency (Bapanas), Arief Prasetyo Adi, estimated that national rice production according to the Statistics Indonesia (BPS) survey on Area Sample Frame in the main harvest season next March could exceed 34 million tons.

"This means that in March, the price of rice will fall slightly," he explained.

He also remarked that during the harvest period, his side along with the Agriculture Ministry will coordinate to prepare optimal rice absorption to prevent decreasing rice prices at the farmers' level.

To maintain the stability in food prices, especially of rice, as well as inflation, the government launched a rice food assistance program distributing rice aid to beneficiary families (KPM), Adi remarked.

The program makes use of the Government Rice Reserves (CBP) in line with Presidential Regulation Number 125.

The assistance is being provided to low-income communities, namely KPM, based on data provided by the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture on the Acceleration of Extreme Poverty Elimination (P3KE).

Under the assistance, 10 kilograms of rice is being distributed to each KPM per month.

Related news: Food aid temporarily suspended to respect election stages: Bapanas

Translator: Yashinta Difa P, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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