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Jakarta Post

Minister calls for distribution of imported rice to push down prices

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, March 19, 2018   /   05:20 pm
Minister calls for distribution of imported rice to push down prices Workers unload Vietnamese rice at Tenau Port in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, on Feb. 13. The shipment is part of 346,000 tons of rice imported by the State Logistics Agency (Bulog) to push down prices of the commodity. (Antara/ Kornelis Kaha)

Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution has called on the State Logistics Agency (Bulog) to distribute imported rice that is currently stored at its warehouses to push prices of the commodity down.

Darmin said the move was crucial because the harvest season would reach its peak in April, when rice prices are expected to increase.

“I have asked the presidential staff and the [food] task force to [discuss the matter] with Bulog; don’t just leave the imported rice in locked warehouses,” Darmin said as reported by kompas.com on Monday.

In January, the government decided to import 500,000 tons of rice due to increasing prices in the market. By doing so, it aimed to stabilize prices and provide Bulog with sufficient stock of the commodity.

However, Bulog procurement director Andrianto Wahyu Adi said later that the agency was only able to import 346,000 tons of rice, or 69.2 percent of the planned amount, due to time constraints.

“The price of rice has yet to decrease. Therefore, we need to do everything we can to push prices down prior to the start of the fasting month [in May],” Darmin added (bbn)