– Minister of Trade Zulkifli Hasan opened up the option to increase rice imports if necessary. This is to deal with the phenomenon of prolonged hot weather (el nino).

“Yes (rice imports) if needed,” said Zulkifli Hasan, Monday, May 22, 2023.

The man who is familiarly called Zulhas explained that prolonged hot weather would cause drought which could suppress food production, including rice.

“We have to be prepared for all eventualities, in what way? For example, rice we have to G2G (government to government) order goods from now on, so that it becomes our stock, so that later if we are lacking (stock) it will be available,” he said.

Also Read: Governor of Bali Rejects 10 Tons of Rice Imports Brought by Bulog

Not only rice, continued Zulkifli, the government has also opened up space for the import of other food ingredients if needed in order to maintain domestic food stocks.

Previously, Bulog received another assignment from the National Food Agency (Bapanas) to import two million tons of rice this year. In fact, now is approaching the harvest season.

Also Read: Regarding Rice Imports, Legislators: This Bapanas Does Not Understand the Philosophy and Spirit of the Food Law

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) explained that the rice imports would become a government rice reserve (CBP) managed by Bulog amid the threat of an el nino which would cause a long drought and could disrupt harvests.

Jokowi said el nino did not only threaten Indonesia, but also other countries. Therefore, rice imports are carried out in anticipation. He guaranteed that the entry of imported rice would not disrupt the price of grain for farmers because it would come in stages.

“That (imported rice) does not interfere with the price of grain for farmers. Henry Saragih (Indonesian Farmers’ Union) has conveyed this and it will arrive in stages,” Jokowi said ()

By Chavez

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