Jakarta (ANTARA) - Head of the National Food Agency (Bapanas) Arief Prasetyo Adi stated that as of April 2024, some 641 thousand tons of rice had been distributed under the rice assistance program for 2024.

“As of April 3, 2024, the realization of rice assistance in the first period from January to March 2024 nationally has reached 641 thousand tons,” Adi noted in a statement from Bapanas here on Thursday (April 4).

The Bapanas head made the statement after accompanying President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) monitoring rice assistance distribution at the Bulog Warehousing Complex in Manggis, Bungo, Jambi, on Thursday.

He said the distribution of rice by Bapanas is in accordance with Law Number 18 of 2013 on Food and Presidential Regulation Number 66 of 2021 on the National Food Agency, which regulate that one of the tasks of Bapanas is maintaining food availability and stability.

Related news: Rice aid period extension depends on APBN capacity: President

He explained that rice assistance, under which every beneficiary receives 10 kilograms of the commodity, targets 22 million beneficiaries in Indonesia.

The assistance program had earlier been implemented in 2023 in two phases and is continued in 2024 from January to March and may be continued from April to June if the state budget is still able to support it.

During the monitoring, President Jokowi also stated that the rice assistance could be continued until December if the budget is sufficient.

“I do not promise. I will check the state budget first in June, and if the budget allows it, then it will be continued,” he noted in a statement from the Presidential Secretariat.

The president underscored that the rice assistance is a form of the government’s commitment to the people’s welfare, so it needs to be continued.

Related news: Jokowi says rice aid to be extended until year-end if possible

Translator: Muhammad Harianto, Raka Adji
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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