Bulog to Enact Rice Imports as Domestic Reserves Run Low
24 November 2022 10:08 WIB
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The State Logistics Agency (Bulog) has conjured up a plan that will see the agency importing rice from overseas to meet its minimum domestic reserve standard after Bulog director Budi Waseso said Bulog is authorized to enact the decision made in a joint ministerial meeting.
“This is the decision produced by a limited coordination meeting (rakortas) where every State Minister pitched in. Bulog is only enacting what the orders are,” said Budi Waseso at the Senayan Parliamentary headquarters on November 23, Antaranews reported.
The rice import order is said to secure supplies which are currently claimed to be only 594,000 tons and to stabilize the domestic value of rice through a government “market operation,” which is when the government distributes lower-than-market prices.
He claims the order to import also comes from the fact that the government must have a readily-disbursed rice reserve for potential disasters, government social assistance, and other events. Procuring supplies from domestic production, he claims, cannot be carried out as local production does not suffice.
Head of the National Food Agency Arief Prasetyo Adi said Bulog could not absorb rice at the farmer level due to limited domestic supplies. This condition is different from that disclosed by the Ministry of Agriculture.
"An example, PT Abadi Langgeng Gemilang Jember only has a reserve of 7,000 tons from information on stock readiness by the Ministry of Agriculture of 100,000 tons," he said.
He added that there were discrepancies in the data reported by the Ministry of Agriculture with the facts in the field.
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