Agriculture minister responsible for inaccurate rice data: economist

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman should be held responsible for inaccurate data on the countrys rice procurement in the past few years, economist Lana Soelistianingsih said.

Inaccurate data on the area of harvested paddy fields and rice production had made the government unable to adopt proper policies, Lana Soelistianingsih of University of Indonesia (UI) said in a written statement released on Wednesday.

Because of the inaccurate data, rice supplies were not adequate, leading to rice scarcity and price hike, she said.

"Thus, the rice prices were not stable. As a matter of fact, rice is the much-needed staple for our community," she said.

The claim about too high rice production due to the miscalculation of paddy fields might lead to rice deficit and increase dependence on imported rice, she said.

Hence, she praised the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) for its plan to publish updated rice production routinely.

The updated rice production may serve as an initial step to improve food supplies in the future and issue accurate policies on rice supplies, she said.

"All sides must accept this. The Agriculture Ministry must not be stubborn. If that is the case, then what must be done. The Agriculture Ministry must have clearer programs," she said.

Source: ANTARA News

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