MPR urges government to ensure availability of rice as El Nino develops

JAKARTA (Antara) – Speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MBR) Bambang Susatio has asked the government to ensure the availability of rice as the El Nino phenomenon could cause an extreme dry season, which is feared to affect the agricultural harvest.

Soesatyo, in a statement received here on Friday, said several initiatives could be taken to achieve this, including encouraging the State Logistics Agency (Bulog) to continue absorbing rice, improving irrigation, mapping wetland areas and preparing farmers. Dry season.

He called for commitment from the government, Bulag and the National Food Agency (PABANAS) to prepare appropriate measures to mitigate the impact of El Niño that may emerge.

He added that the move is necessary especially as the dry season is expected to peak in the second half of 2023, which is expected to affect rice production in the country.

He also asked the government to adjust the national rice requirements and consider metered import of rice as a second option so that the availability of rice is secure.

Data from Papanas showed that Pulok’s total rice stocks at the beginning of July 2023 stood at just 627 thousand tonnes, well below the government’s desired safe limit of over 1 million tonnes.

The MPR Speaker asked the government along with the Babanas to intensify the food diversification campaign to respond to the challenge of increasing consumption of rice as a staple food in line with the growing population.

„The aim is to reduce Indonesia’s reliance on rice as a staple food,” he explained.

He then appealed to the community to be calm and prudent in purchasing rice and not to over-purchase to prevent rice shortage.

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Translated by: Melalusa Sustra, Raga Adji
Editor: Aziz Kurmala
Copyright © ANTARA 2023

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