The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Thursday assured that rice stocks stored at state logistics company Bulog warehouses were adequate to meet demand in the coming months. The President stressed the importance of adequate rice stocks to prevent speculators from playing with the price.
“Compared to the stocks in previous years, this year stock is higher,” said Jokowi after visiting one of Bulog’s storage facilities located in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta.
Usually, by the end of December, Bulog has between 700,000 and 800,000 tons of rice in its warehouses, but in December, the figure stood at 2.1 million tons, the President said.
Bulog president director Budi Waseso said 1.7 million tons of imported rice arrived in 2018 while the other stock came from the farmers that Bulog bought from last year.
Jokowi added adequate stocks would give confidence to the public because Bulog would be ready to intervene in the market when prices are too high.
“Usually if the stock is low, speculators start playing the market to increase prices. We have to show that our stock is enormous,” said Jokowi, adding that it was important to balance price stability and farmers' profits.
“It’s easy if we just want the price to go low drastically. Just distribute Bulog's rice to the market. But then it would have a detrimental effect on farmers. This balance between production and market price should be maintained by Bulog,” said Jokowi. (bbn)