TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Ministry of Agriculture has ensured the availability of rice throughout May 2020 to remain secure, as 3.5 million tons of rice have been stocked.
The Minister of Agriculture, Syahrul Yasin Limpo, has assured the Indonesian people of food security during the COVID-19 pandemic, thereby guaranteeing food to remain available for 260 million Indonesians.
Syahrul explained that, based on the national food balance, the government has prepared three scenarios in calculating the availability of rice throughout May. With the current stock of 3.5 million tons of rice, the coming harvest period is estimated to yield an additional 12.4 million tons of rice.
“Plus another 1 million tons stocked by the State Logistics Agency (Bulog), and with the (rice) still in the milling; totals to approximately 15 tons,” Syahrul said in the National Disaster Mitigation Agency’s broadcast, on Sunday, April 26, 2020.
The optimistic scenario sees that public consumption needs from February to May are estimated to be at 7.6 million tons. With the 15 million tons of rice stocked, he predicts that the final stock after May will still reach 8 million tons.
In the moderate scenario, the harvest period is expected to yield 11 million tons, with public consumption from February to May reaching 7.9 million tons; 7 million tons of rice will remain stocked by the end of May.
On the other hand, the pessimistic scenario estimates the coming harvest to yield 11.2 tons of rice, with public consumption from February to May reaching 8.3 million tons; leaving 6 tons of rice stocked by the end of May.
“(Rice) stocked for the fasting month and Eid al-Fitr remains under control, and we have validated this with the regional (governments),” Syarul said.
The Ministry of Agriculture has carried out objective monitoring through satellite, by ensuring the validity of the data with more than 400 regional government chiefs, through teleconference. “Until the next three months, we will still have rice available,” he added.
ANTARA | DIO SUHENDA (INTERN TRANSLATOR)