President Joko Widodo (center) inspects a rice harvest in a village in Subang, West Java, on October 8, 2023. He said the government is increasing the rice supply in the the domestic market to curb consumer prices. (ANTARA FOTO/Sigid Kurniawan/Spt)
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated on Sunday that the government is increasing the rice supply in the domestic market to curb consumer prices affected by the rise in unhusked rice prices.
"The rice farmers are happy because unhusked rice prices are increasing... They are happy, but the consumers are not," he said while inspecting a rice harvest in Subang, West Java, on Sunday, according to a statement from the Presidential Secretariat.
According to September 2023 data from Statistics Indonesia, the price of ready-to-mill dried unhusked rice reached Rp7,386 (approximately US$0.47) per kilogram, a 9.3 percent increase from Rp6,760 per kilogram in August 2023.
Jokowi mentioned that the current increase in unhusked rice prices is driving up rice prices in the domestic market, and this situation needs to be anticipated.
"We will address this condition by supplying as much rice as possible to the market to bring down rice prices," he said.
He noted that this strategy has been effective in lowering rice prices at the Cipinang Rice Wholesale Market in Jakarta.
"At the Cipinang Market, rice prices have already gone down. However, we hope that prices at the consumer level will also decrease," Jokowi stated.
He also assured that the national rice reserves in the warehouses of state-run food logistics company Bulog have reached 1.7 million tons.
"Due to the El Niño phenomenon, rice production has decreased. But it is not a problem because our reserves in Bulog are also quite substantial," Jokowi said.