Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), on Monday, expressed belief that the prices of rice would start going down, as the nation will soon enter the great harvesting period within a month.

"I believe that we will witness a significant decline in the prices of rice, considering that the great harvesting period will take place within a month," he remarked prior to his departure to Australia at the Halim Perdanakusuma Air Base, Jakarta.

Jokowi reiterated that the government had managed to secure ample stocks of rice to meet the needs of people in welcoming this year's Ramadan holy month and Eid al-Fitr.

"As Eid draws closer, we have taken preparatory measures to ensure the availability of stocks of basic goods. We see no problems with the stocks of rice. I will check the stocks of other staples in detail on the field," he pointed out.

Responding to questions posed on the people's complaints regarding the soaring rice prices, the head of state suggested that consumers check the prices at the Cipinang Central Market and Johar Karawang Market, as he believes that the prices have started to decline.

"Just go to the Cipinang and Johar Karawang markets to check the prices. Based on my observation, the prices have begun to decline. This trend, however, does not reflect national prices," he noted.

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Earlier, on Saturday (March 2), the Agriculture Ministry stated that some 8.46 million tons of rice are expected to be produced during the great harvesting period in March-April 2024.

"According to data from BPS (Statistics Indonesia), the total rice output during the March-April period is expected to reach 8.46 million tons. Such a huge amount will meet the national needs," the ministry's Director General of Crops, Suwandi, noted in Jakarta.

Meanwhile, President Director of state-owned logistics firm Bulog Bayu Krisnamurthi affirmed that the people should not harbor concerns about price spikes, given that the prices of premium-grade rice had gradually started to return to normal levels.

"Do not worry. The prices of premium-grade rice have begun to decline to around Rp14 thousand (US$0.88) per kilogram, from about Rp17 thousand (US$1.08) for the same quantity. Moreover, the prices of medium-grade rice have also started stabilizing," he remarked in Jakarta on Thursday (February 29).

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Translator: Yashinta Difa, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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