Bulog to prioritize absorbing domestically produced rice over imports

Jakarta National Logistics Agency (Bulog) President Director Budi Waseso affirmed that his agency had accorded priority to absorbing domestically produced rice to maintain the government's Rice Reserves (CBP) stock instead of importing one million tons.

"In principle, we prioritize domestic production for CBP absorption," Waseso stated during a hearing with Commission IV of the House of Representatives (DPR) here on Monday.

Bulog will not necessarily go ahead with the rice import assignment since the country is currently entering a major rice harvest period.

"Although we have been assigned to import one million tons of rice, we will not necessarily conduct it, as we continue to prioritize domestic products since it is currently the peak of the harvest season," he remarked.

The agency and the Ministry of Agriculture have been making all-out efforts to absorb domestically produced grain and rice across Indonesia.

As of March 14, 2021, the total stock of rice available at Bulog's warehouses reached 883,585 tons, comprising 859,877 tons of CBP stocks and 23,708 tons of commercial rice stocks.

The stock is viewed as being sufficient to meet commercial requirements, for the Child Social Welfare (KPSA) program, and for disaster emergency response in line with the requirements of Bulog.

The existing CBP stock includes 106,642 tons of rice of low quality imported in 2018 when Indonesia had imported a total of 1,785,450 tons of rice.

Rice already in its annual storage period amounted to 461 thousand tons in total. Meanwhile, for the rest of 2018, some 275,811 tons of imported rice was still available at Bulog's warehouses, of which the quality had deteriorated for 106,642 tons.

The government had earlier planned to import some one million tons of rice in early 2021. This was allocated for the CBP supply of 500 thousand tons, and the Bulog’s requirements for 500 thousand tons by taking into account the absorption of nationally produced rice.

Source: Antara News

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