State-owned logistics company Bulog president director Budi Waseso said on Monday he had told President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo that Indonesia did not need to import rice.
The statement was a reiteration of his previous statements that the existing rice stocks and the ongoing production of local farmers could fulfill the market demand up to June 2019.
“I told the President that God willing, [we] won’t have to import because Indonesia is an agricultural country where everything is available,” Budi said during a roundtable discussion on food security held by the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) in Jakarta on Monday.
In April, the government decided to import 2 million tons of rice when the rice price had increased in the local market.
Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution said in August that the country had imported 1.4 million tons of rice. He said the government had canceled its plan to import a further 600,000 tons because of technical problems.
Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukito previously said that rice warehouses were none of the Trade Ministry’s business in response to a compliant by Budi that Bulog had spent too much money to rent warehouses.
“Therefore, I hope this food issue will be handled entirely by the state and is taken care of with integrity,” said the retired police general, who entered his current post in April. (bbn)
The Jakarta Post