Modern retail stores have been stocked this week, so people will not face difficulty finding rice.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President director of the State Logistics Agency (Bulog), Bayu Krisnamurthi, said that his side is committed to fulfilling rice needs until the month of Ramadhan and Eid Al-Fitr.

“Bulog has sufficient rice stock to fulfill people’s needs, especially approaching the month of Ramadhan and Eid Al-Fitr,” he assured in Jakarta on Monday (February 19, 2024).

He highlighted that Bulog is routinely distributing rice via several channels, namely the Rice Food Assistance Program and the Stabilization of Food Supply and Prices (SPHP) Program, to fulfill people’s requirements. Bulog’s rice stock is currently pegged at 1.2 million tons.

Besides distributing February food aid and preparing for March food aid, Bulog has been continuously distributing rice through many channels, mainly to Cipinang Market, traditional markets, and even, modern retail outlets, to help fulfill people’s needs.

“Modern retail stores have been stocked this week, so people will not face difficulty finding rice,” Krisnamurthi added.

He accompanied President Joko Widodo to South Tangerang, Banten, for the distribution of 10 kilograms of rice to beneficiaries.

According to President Widodo, the Rice Food Assistance Program is a solution to facing the current volatility in rice prices.

Furthermore, he said, the recent price surge has been driven by crop failures triggered by the global El Nino phenomenon. The disaster has pushed up prices since production has declined while people’s consumption needs have remained stagnant or even, increased.

“Ladies and gentlemen, why does the government provide 10 kilograms of aid every month? Because rice prices around the world have increased, not only in Indonesia,” the President highlighted.

The spike in rice prices has been caused by climate and weather change, which have led to crop failure, he noted.

“(The number) of people eating (rice) has remained the same, (but) the production quantities have decreased, so prices have surged. The government has provided this aid to ease your burden,” he told beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, head of the National Food Agency (Bapanas), Arief Prasetyo Adi, said that the government is committed to making efforts to ensure rice stability in the market. Thus, producers and consumers will benefit from the government’s policies.

“We hope that the harvest in March reaches more than three million tons, maybe even 3.5 million tons, so that rice tension will decrease,” he added.

Kasno, 63, a resident of Ciater and a beneficiary, expressed his gratitude for the government’s effort to ease the economic burden on many small-income families.

He said that as a casual worker, he hopes that government programs that ease the people’s burden, such as food aid, will continue.

“For people in need like us, rice aid is very helpful, and hopefully, in the future, it will still exist. That is the hope of small-income people,” Kasno added.

Related news: President Jokowi ensures sufficient stocks of rice for Ramadan
Related news: Food stocks sufficient ahead of Ramadan: Bapanas

Translator: M Harianto, Yuni Arisandy
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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