– The Governor of Bali, I Wayan Koster, stated that he refused the entry of 10,000 tons of imported rice brought by Perum Bulog to his territory.

“The other day I had a discussion with Bulog Bali wanting to bring 5,000 to 10,000 tons of rice to Bali. I asked where the rice was coming from, imported rice, ‘Sorry sir, I don’t agree to bring rice imports to Bali because Bali has a surplus of rice’,” said Wayan Koster. Monday 22 May 2023.

Wayan said Indonesia has agricultural potential in every region so there is no need to import food. He said that Bulog should maximally absorb rice from domestic farmers, even though the price is higher than imported rice, including from Vietnam.

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

“We buy it cheaper there, the Vietnamese farmers are prosperous. What do I think. If we dare to buy (domestic rice) then the domestic economy will rotate,” said Wayan.

Furthermore, Wayan suggested that the central government change policies that facilitate the entry of imported food. According to him, there are regulations issued in the new order that are still being used today.

Also Read: Food Observers Ask Bulog to Evaluate the Decision to Import 2 Million Tons of Rice

Even though these regulations do not support the potential of domestic agriculture.

“In my opinion, regulations that are friendly to imports must be overhauled more radically so that they are pro-people and pro-regional in Indonesia. Many of the Presidential Regulations issued during the New Order era are still in effect today, which makes it very difficult for us to empower the regional economic potential,” said Wayan.

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

President Jokowi then explained the reasons behind the plan to import rice. He said the rice 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 announced it and it will arrive in stages,” said Jokowi. ()

By Chavez

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