Lawmaker urges government to rethink plan to import rice

Governance

Jakarta – Deputy Chief of House Commission IV, G. Budisatrio Djiwandono, has urged the government to review its plan to import 1 million tons of rice as that could depress the price of unhusked rice in the country.

“The government should not have announced the plan to import 1 million tons of rice because it can lead to a drastic drop in the prices of unhusked rice grown by farmers,” he said in a press statement released on Friday.

At present, the price of unhusked rice has dipped below the government purchase price in several parts of the country, including in Blora (Rp3,300 per kilogram), Kendal (Rp3,600 per kg), and Ngawi (Rp3,400 per kg).

Under the Trade Minister’s Regulation No. 24/2020, the government purchase price for dry unhusked rice has been fixed at Rp4,200 per kg.

Based on the National Logistics Agency (Bulog) data processed by the Food Resilience Board on March 7, 2021, Bulog currently holds 869,151 tons in rice stocks — 25, 828 tons in commercial stocks and 843,647 tons in government rice reserves. The government rice reserves should reach a minimum of 1.5 million tons, the agency said.

Meanwhile, the Central Statistics Agency has projected national rice production in the January-April, 2021 period to reach 14.54 million tons, or an increase of 3.08 million tons (26.84 percent) compared to 11.46 million tons in the same period last year.

“Looking at the potential rice production from the grand harvest in 2021, domestic rice production is enough to meet rice stocks,” Djiwandono remarked.

Source: Antara News