The Jakarta Post
Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman has said a peak rice harvest would occur in February, hoping that the country would see a substantial increase in rice stocks next month.
The government has just announced that it would import 500,000 tons of premium-grade rice from Thailand and Vietnam late this month to ease the increasing price of the commodity.
“October to December last year was the planting season, so we will see a peak harvest next month,” said Amran after visiting the Economic Coordinating Ministry over the weekend.
Previously, the minister said Indonesia produced 3 million tons of rice last December, while the local demand of the commodity was only 2.6 million tons.
Speaking about the increasing rice prices, an official previously said many farmers were reluctant to sell their unhusked rice at regular prices, particularly for those who produced high-quality rice that could be made into premium-quality rice.
Amran added that the National Logistics Agency (Bulog) had only absorbed 58 percent of the total local production last year, which is far from the minister’s initial target of 90 percent. He hoped that Bulog would absorb the local farmers’ rice production in order to boost food security in the country.
Meanwhile, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukito said after the meeting that the imported rice was classified as premium-grade rice with a broken rice rate of 5 percent. (fny/bbn)