Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) attributed the rise in rice prices in markets to distribution disruptions resulting from floods in the Central Java area, among other factors.

"This is the issue of distribution disrupted due to floods, for instance, in Demak (Central Java)," Jokowi stated after casting his vote for the 2024 General Elections at Gambir 10 Polling Station, Central Jakarta, on Wednesday.

Jokowi ensured that stocks of rice were still ample at the State Logistics Agency (Bulog). Thus, the community does not have to worry about prices and stock scarcity.

"Rick stocks, both medium and premium (quality) rice in Bulog, are always ready, and the stocks are always available," he stated.

President Director of Bulog Bayu Krisnamurthi stated that currently, Bulog's rice stocks had reached 1.18 million tons, which ensured to be safe to meet the national rice needs until April 2024.

"Therefore, if the demand for Food Supply and Price Stabilization (SPHP) rice is to be doubled, they are enough. If food assistance increase until March and April, they are enough," he said during a media discussion event in Jakarta on Tuesday (February 13).

He affirmed that the stocks of government rice reserves (CBP) stored in Bulog's warehouses can meet the people's needs nationally during the holy month of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr.

According to Krisnamurthi, floods that hit several rice field areas in Demak, Kudus, and Grobogan in Central Java, among others, do not affect the food stocks nationally.

Meanwhile, Head of the National Food Agency (Bapanas) Arief Prasetyo Adi stated that rice stocks have been distributed to several modern retail stores to meet the people's needs.

In accordance with President Jokowi's direction, Bapanas, along with Bulog, Jakarta's city-owned food company PT Food Station Tjipinang Raya, the Rice Millers Association, the Indonesian Rice Millers and Traders Association (PERPADI), and the Indonesian Retailers Association (Aprindo) are aiming to stabilize the rice prices.

"The president's direction is rice stocks in Bulog, PIBC (Cipinang Central Rice Market), Jakarta's region-owned enterprise Food Station, should be optimized to be distributed to markets, both modern and traditional markets," Adi stated while reviewing rice stocks at the PIBC warehouse here on Tuesday.

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Translator: Yashinta Difa, Raka Adji
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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