Jakarta (ANTARA) - Head of the National Food Agency (Bapanas) Arief Prasetyo Adi advised the public to not engage in panic-buying of rice.

"The government has guaranteed rice (supplies), so people do not need to (indulge in) panic-buying because the government has prepared (for it) far in advance," Adi stated here on Saturday.

He emphasized that the government has prepared sufficient rice stocks in Indonesia in advance, so there is no need to harbor concerns about supply shortages.

He remarked that as of February 19, the national rice stock managed by the State Logistics Agency (Bulog) had totaled 1.4 million tons. Meanwhile, rice absorption from domestic farmers had reached 107 thousand tons this year.

Furthermore, Regional Government Rice Reserves (CBPP) until the second week of February had reached 7.5 thousand tons.

Adi stated that 3.5 million tons of rice will be harvested in March 2024, which is expected to provide a significant additional supply of rice and help reduce prices of the commodity in the market.

However, Bapanas also pays attention to the importance of maintaining the farmers' terms of trade to prevent sharp plummet in rice prices.

He explained that the price of rice is affected by the price of grain, and if the price of grain rises, the price of rice will follow the increase.

"This happens all over the world, not only in Indonesia, but believe me, the government will balance between upstream (farmer) prices and downstream (market) prices," he explained.

In the last eight months, rice production in Indonesia has experienced a deficit as compared to the people's consumption.

However, the government has taken appropriate steps by importing rice to strengthen the Government Food Reserve (CPP) and stabilizing prices in the market through the distribution of rice under the Food Supply and Price Stabilization (SPHP) program.

Related news: President Jokowi distributes rice aid to counter rising prices
Related news: Widodo distributes rice aid in S Sulawesi
Related news: Bapanas projects 3.5 million tons of rice harvest in March

Translator: M Harianto, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
Copyright © ANTARA 2024