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President says no to rice imports despite pressure

Selasa 10 Maret 2015 14:11 WIB

Red: Julkifli Marbun

Jokowi

Jokowi

Foto: Republika/ Yasin Habibi

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, NORTH ACEH -- President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has refused to import rice in order to deal with the rice price hike despite pressure from several quarters.

"An easy way to solve the price hike is import, but I refuse to import despite pressure from everywhere," the president emphasized here on Monday while inaugurating a dam construction project in Paya Bakong sub-district, North Aceh, Monday (9/3).

The head of state believes that Indonesia will be able to achieve rice self-sufficiency.

Following a significant hike in rice prices, he inquired about the rice stock in the National Logistics Agency's (Bulog's) warehouse and found that the stock reached 1.7 million tons.

In Mid-February, Bulog distributed 400 thousand tons of rice, and in March, there would be rice grand harvests, according to Jokowi.

Following the distribution of rice by Bulog, the rice price decreased in Cipinang rice market.

"In fact, the rice price in Cipinang decreased, and I hope it will be further down by up to Rp two thousand per kilogram," he stated.

Earlier, Jokowi urged the farmers to boost the yield of rice to maintain the availability of food stocks.

"I asked all farmers to be more confident in producing rice and informed them that the government will not import the commodity anymore. So, production should rise," Jokowi affirmed during his working visit to Jetis village, Ponorogo district, East Java, earlier this month.

The government will not import rice, so the production should increase, he stressed.

He pointed out that the government has prepared facilities and infrastructure to improve agricultural production, including irrigation systems, tractors, rice-planting machines, combine harvesters, and seeds.

"It is now up to you (farmers)," Jokowi remarked.

The president further noted that as many as 41 thousand tractors will be distributed to the farmers, besides other harvesting tools.

The government will announce the new price of unhulled rice that meets the expectations of the farmers and suits the market conditions in March, President Jokowi noted.

Sumber : Antara
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