TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto said that all rice production centers are currently entering the main harvest period. With this harvest, Agus predicts, there will be an additional production of 19.8 million tons until August 2020.
"I am optimistic that rice stock and production will meet national needs until the end of December 2020," Agus said in an official statement after visiting Cipinang Rice Main Market (PIBC) in East Jakarta, Thursday, April 16.
According to Agus, the volume is sufficient to anticipate the lengthy COVID-19 response period. The minister said that the national rice needs are approximately 2.5 tons per month or roughly 22.5 million tons until December.
Right now, there are 3.38 million tons of national rice stock.
In late March, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned about the impact of Covid-19 on world food supplies. FAO's chief economist and assistant director-general or economic and social development Maximo Torero Cullen said that the shipping industry had reported a slowdown in activity due to port closures in several regions. These logistical barriers could disrupt the food supply chain in the next few weeks.
"To prevent food shortages, countries need to maintain their food supply chains," he said.
On Monday, April 13, 2020, President Joko Widodo or Jokowi also asked his ministries to secure Indonesia's food readiness amid the coronavirus outbreak. Not only for the great harvest in April, but Jokowi also asked his men to secure the second harvest in August and September.