Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) confirmed that the Cipinang Central Market is storing abundant stocks of rice that are ready to be distributed to retailers and traditional markets to address the issue of rise in prices.

"I wanted to make sure that this market is storing rice stocks. Based on my review, the stocks are sufficient and even abundant," he remarked after inspecting rice availability at the market on Thursday.

The head of state noted that rice stocks at the central market will be delivered to retailers, traditional markets, and rice stores in Jakarta as well as other regions to deal with soaring prices caused by rice scarcity.

The president then observed that the price spike is also related to the fact that farmers in regions have yet to enter the rice harvesting period.

He also drew attention to floods hitting the districts of Demak and Grobogan in Central Java, saying that the disaster had caused disruptions to the distribution of rice, which then led to scarcity and surging prices.

Jokowi then spoke of having ordered state-run logistics company Bulog to send rice produced in regions to the Cipinang Central Market to secure sufficient stocks while awaiting the harvesting period.

"The floods in Demak and Grobogan have also been responsible (for the soaring prices). I have ordered Bulog to deliver rice from regions to the Cipinang Market. I believe the prices will start declining in one week or two," he pointed out.

According to the website of the Cipinang Central Market, a total of 33,378 tons of rice are available at the market as of February 14, 2024. The market has been selling rice at the average price of Rp13,762 (US$0.88) per kilogram.

Meanwhile, Bulog is currently storing 1.18 million tons of rice that is ensured to be sufficient to meet the national needs of rice until April 2024.

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Translator: Mentari D, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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