Jakarta (ANTARA) - The government has assured that the nation has sufficient rice stocks to meet demand during March, April, and May this year so people need not worry about rice shortage during Ramadan and the Idul Fitri holiday.

"Insya Allah (God willing), our national rice stocks for March, April, and May remain safe," Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman said in a press statement issued by his ministry here on Saturday.

To meet the demand in June, preparation for rice planting will need to be carried out from March. At least three million hectares of land will need to be prepared for rice planting to secure three months' rice stocks, the minister informed.

"We must plant rice on at least one million hectares of land per month to produce 3.0 to 3.5 million tons of rice, while our monthly rice demand is recorded only at some 2.5 million tons," he expounded.

If this scenario works, Indonesia will get a rice surplus, he said, adding that domestic rice production will hopefully help lower rice prices significantly.

"This March, the rice prices definitely go down. I guarantee that the rice prices are safe during the holy month of Ramadan, the Idul Fitri holiday season, and two months after Idul Fitri," he said.

Meanwhile, supply chain and public service director at the State Logistics Agency (Bulog), Mokhamad Suyamto, said that the government's rice reserves remain sufficient to meet demand during Ramadan and Idul Fitri.

"The availability of the government's rice reserves is currently recorded at 1.4 million tons, and the remaining quota of this year's rice import is recorded at 1.5 million tons. So, the stocks are sufficient," he explained.

ANTARA reported earlier that Bulog president director Bayu Krisnamurthi also assured of sufficient rice stocks to fulfill people's needs, especially ahead of Ramadan and the Idul Fitri holiday.

He informed 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 meet people's requirements.

Related news: Rice harvest expected to help stabilize price: VP
Related news: Medium-grade rice price cooling after govt intervention: official

Translator: M Harianto, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Aditya Eko Sigit Wicaksono
Copyright © ANTARA 2024