The State Logistics Agency (Bulog) acknowledged receiving Vietnamese rice stock from Surabaya, East Java, and using it to supply the needs of the communities in Papua’s regions.
However, Dedi Apriliadi, Deputy Head of the Bulog-Papua and West Papua Office, provided no additional information on the amount of Vietnamese rice distributed. Apriliadi merely reported that the rice stock, stocked in the agency’s warehouses to meet the demands of six provinces in Papua, has reached around 26 thousand tons.
“The available rice stock is able to meet the communities’ needs for four months,” Apriliadi stated. He also mentioned that the agency’s monthly rice requirement is roughly 6,000 tons.
In response to a question about whether the Bulog-Papua and West Papua Office would also purchase rice from local farmers in Merauke City, South Papua Province, he stated that local rice absorption remained limited.
In the meantime, the agency shipped rice stock to meet Merauke’s 500-ton requirement while also supplying two thousand tons of rice from East Java. It was also reported that Bulog was allocated to import two million tons of rice to supplement its rice stockpiles in the face of El Nino, causing the dry season.
President Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, announced in April this year that the rice import aimed to boost Bulog’s stocks, as the El Nino weather pattern predicted an extended dry season. “Hence, Bulog and the National Food Agency (NFA) get prepared by strengthening the rice reserves,” Jokowi stated.
According to Jokowi, Bulog’s goal in increasing the government’s rice reserves, or CBP, through rice imports aims to anticipate rivalry with other countries for acquiring commodities when El Nino hits. He also confirmed that the action is intended to avoid future issues in purchasing rice from supplier countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, India, and Pakistan.