Indonesian President Extends Rice Aid as Imports Fall Short

Indonesian President Joko Widodo extends a rice aid program for low-income families until December 2024 due to a shortage of rice imports, which only meet 4.1% of national demand. The program aims to combat global food inflation's impact on Indonesia's 270 million population.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Indonesian President Extends Rice Aid as Imports Fall Short

Indonesian President Extends Rice Aid as Imports Fall Short

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has announced that the country's rice imports have only met 4.1% of national demand, prompting the extension of a programme, year, end for low-income families until December 2024. The program, which started in March 2023 and was initially set to end in June 2024, aims to combat the impact of global food inflation on Indonesia's population of 270 million.

Why this matters: The shortage of rice imports in Indonesia has significant implications for food security and economic stability in the region. If left unaddressed, it could lead to widespread food shortages, social unrest, and economic instability, affecting not only Indonesia but also its neighboring countries.

During a visit to the Bulog Laende Warehouse Complex in Muna Regency, Southeast Sulawesi, President Widodo emphasized the need for rice imports, cover, five, nations, total, needs to maintain stable prices at the consumer level. "There is no five percent we have to import. Anyone from Vietnam, Thailand, where did they come from, sir? Cambodia, Pakistan, had to import from there. Because our population is now 280 million people, everyone wants to. Now that's not easy," he said.

Indonesia has imported 1.2 million tonnes of rice so far in 2024 out of an allotted 3.6 million tonnes. The National Food Agency (Bapanas) projects that Indonesia's rice demand in 2024 will reach 31.2 million tons. Bulog, Indonesia's food procurement firm, has bought 472,279 metric tonnes of rice from domestic harvests as of May 8, with stocks standing at 1.8 million tonnes. The company has issued another international tender to buy about 300,000 metric tonnes of .

The rice aid initiative is the government's response to the increase in rice prices due to global food inflation and the El Nino weather pattern-fuelled drought that hit rice output. President Widodo noted that maintaining rice prices in Indonesia is not an easy task, as it must consider the welfare of farmers and the affordability of prices for .

"All global food prices are rising. Some are rising very high, and ours are still low. We should be grateful that our increases are not drastic," President Widodo stated. Despite easing rice prices as stocks improve in the harvest season, the government remains committed to supporting beneficiary families through the en until December, subject to budget availability.

Key Takeaways

  • Indonesia's rice imports meet only 4.1% of national demand, prompting program extension.
  • Rice aid program for low-income families extended until December 2024.
  • Indonesia needs 31.2 million tons of rice in 2024, with 1.2 million tons imported so far.
  • Bulog, Indonesia's food procurement firm, has bought 472,279 metric tonnes of domestic rice.
  • Government aims to maintain stable rice prices, considering farmer welfare and affordability.