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Indonesia's Rice Depleted, 40 Percent of Milling Companies Stops Production

The rice scarcity period is also projected to be longer than usual.

Rep: Dedy Darmawan Nasution
Farmworkers separate freshly harvested rice grains using machines, in Rancanumpang, Gedebage, Bandung City, Tuesday (12/9/2023).
Edi Yusuf/Republika Farmworkers separate freshly harvested rice grains using machines, in Rancanumpang, Gedebage, Bandung City, Tuesday (12/9/2023).

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- The Union of Rice and Rice Milling Entrepreneurs (Perpadi) in Indonesia acknowledges that it is still difficult to obtain a supply of grain ready to be ground into rice. The rice scarcity period is also projected to be longer than usual. As a result, the high price of rice will be felt longer by the public.

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General Chairman of Perpadi Sutarto Alimoeso said that grain supply at the end of this year was still far from the national milling needs. Inevitably, some mills chose to stop production until the supply returned to normal.

“A lot (of the mill) has been dormant. Some say 40 percent are inactive,” Sutarto said in Jakarta on Wednesday (1/11/2023).

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Perpadi noted that the number of small rice mills currently reaches 160 thousand. While the middle class was about 7,000 milling companies and large-scale there were 1,700 companies.

Sutarto acknowledged that currently there is still an overcapacity of rice milling in Indonesia. Because, rice production capacity is not followed by the amount of rice milling industry growth in each region. For the record, the average rice production was still around 30 million tons in the last five years, with a 2022 peak of 31.5 million tons.

Therefore, Sutarto believes that, rather than the government continuing to grant permits for the establishment of new rice mills, it is better to revitalize the existing mills. At the same time, rice production continues to be sought to increase.

“The amount of rice milling that we have is too much. That's why we appeal to the government not to build new ones and concentrate them on Java Island,” he said.

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