The National Food Agency (Bapanas) of Indonesia announced that it has collaborated with related ministries and has begun implementing a rice strategy to ensure sustainable food security. According to the agency, the collaborative strategy has been implemented to enable the State Logistics Agency (Bulog) to secure rice stocks from local rice producers at a new equilibrium price.
Arief Prasetyo Adi, head of Bapanas, spoke at a hearing session with members of the parliament. He outlined the government’s strategy for dealing with surplus rice production amid the rising production costs and increasing consumer prices.
Adi stated, “There is a presidential regulation on government food reserves, and, by coordinating with the Finance Ministry, the last thing that we need to do is determining the B to B.”
An interest subsidy will be provided by the Association of State-Owned Banks (Himbara) to Bulog and state-owned food holding company ID Food afterward, Adi added.
Furthermore, interest subsidy facilities would also be provided for other staple food commodities that ID Food and others manage. However, according to Adi, this matter is still being finalized.
The availability of stocks of rice and other staple food commodities has become the Indonesian government’s priority. “Until the end of 2022, for instance, we propose a budget of Rp1 trillion for Bulog to enable it to commence its assignment to secure the stocks of rice, corn, and soybean,” Adi said.
Bulog would be able to compete in activities of trade by getting an interest subsidy of 4.75 percent from the Finance Ministry. Additionally, Bapanas has also proposed a budget of Rp2 trillion for ID Food to commence its task to manage more staple food commodities. This includes shallots, garlic, curly red chilies, red bird’s eye chilies, ruminant meat, chicken meat, eggs, and sugar for consumption.
Adi also said that the Rp2-trillion budget could be provided through cheap loans instead of equity capital.
A question on the government’s debt of Rp5.2 trillion to Bulog was also raised at the hearing session. Adi responded, saying that he has coordinated with the Finance Ministry for the repayment of the debt.
Based on the Presidential Regulation No. 66 of 2021, Bapanas was formed as part of the government’s endeavors to help stabilize food supplies in Indonesia. The agency monitors nine staple foods, namely rice, soybeans, eggs, corn, onions and shallots, sugar, chili, bovine meat, and poultry meat. In 2022, fish and cooking were also added to the list of staple-food commodities.