"Bulog currently has 2.27 million tonnes of rice, in addition to the 435,000 tonnes of the government`s rice stock and 60,000 tonnes of premium rice," he stated here on Thursday.
"Therefore, price fluctuations can be controlled anytime," Sutarto explained.
"Bulog has enough rice stock to organize market operation anytime if necessary," he said during a press conference.
According to Sutarto, the state logistics agency has been conducting market operation since December last year in response to increasing rice prices across various regions of the country.
He said the market operation would continue this month in Jakarta, Sumatra, Papua, East Nusa Tenggara and Maluku.
Last month, rice prices in these areas had reached Rp7,300 per kg, much higher than the government`s official purchasing price (HPP) of Rp6,600 per kg. However, after the market operation, the prices dropped to Rp7,000-7,100 per kg.
"From mid-December 2012 until early January 2013, Bulog will release some 20,000 tonnes of rice during market operation," Sutarto noted.
"The farmers had delayed in planting rice this time, due to which production will be affected," he pointed out.
Therefore, Sutarto expressed hope that the lean season, expected to continue until the end of February this year, would not last long.(*)