Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Government is planning to import 22,500 tons of rice from Cambodia to complement domestic stocks in meeting the needs ahead of Eid al-Fitr, the National Food Agency (Bapanas) stated.

"We are prioritizing domestically-produced rice. However, we decided that Bulog (state-owned logistics firm) will procure rice from abroad this time. We will import 22,500 (tons of rice) from Cambodia," Bapanas Head Arief Prasetyo Adi noted in Jakarta on Monday.

The agency head made the statement after attending a meeting chaired by President Joko Widodo at the Presidential Palace.

Adi remarked that Bapanas is currently taking preparatory measures to welcome the great harvesting period of rice that is projected between March and April this year.

He expressed optimism about Indonesian farmers achieving the target of rice output, which, in turn, is expected to lead to a decline in the prices of the staple commodity.

He then noted that the government had made several efforts to ensure that the people did not face any shortage of rice, including by distributing rice aid to millions of beneficiaries.

"Last year, the government distributed 10 kilograms of rice aid to 22 million beneficiaries for seven months. We have decided to continue the distribution for six months this year," he pointed out.

Through the rice aid program, he stated that the government has managed to meet the rice needs of eight percent of Indonesia's population.

"And not to mention the Cheap Food Movement that has been implemented by Mr. Tito Karnavian (Home Affairs Minister) and regional governments," he highlighted.

The official further remarked that the government would continue to monitor rice stocks stored by Bulog to ensure sufficiency until June 2024.

"We need to maintain Bulog's 1.2 million tons of rice until June," he concluded.

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Translator: Yashinta Difa, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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