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Jakarta Post

Why importing rice is still considered a political sin

  • Vincent Lingga

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Wed, March 17, 2021   /  02:41 am
Why importing rice is still considered a political sin The government should have realized that for over five decades, the availability, accessibility and price stability of rice has always been politically charged and sensitive. (JP/P.J.Leo)

The government should bear the primary blame for the public uproar and noisy spat involving senior ministers, politicians and farmers’ associations over its plan to import 1 million tons of rice to strengthen national food reserves. The government should have realized that for over five decades, the availability, accessibility and price stability of rice has always been politically charged and sensitive. The import plan would not have caused such a high controversy if the policy had been well communicated to the public. What the government plans to do is simply rational, given the vital role of rice as the main staple for the majority of the country’s 270 million people. It wants to secure the availability of rice imports whenever necessary in case of emergency because there are only two major rice exporters in Asia: Thailand and Vietnam. The government plans to sign...

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