Riani Sanusi Putri, Jakarta – Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo issued a statement regarding the country's rice production which comes as a direct response to a report by World Bank ranking Indonesia's rice as the most expensive in Southeast Asia, which garnered international attention.
One of the aspects the World Bank believes contributed to the rising prices of rice grains are trade restriction policies such as import tariff, SOEs import monopoly on main commodities, and the minimum purchasing prices policy imposed on farmers, all of which has been implemented by Indonesia.
The Agriculture Minister did not directly respond to the WB report but asserted that the domestic production and rice harvest remain plentiful.
"Our harvest areas amount to over 10 million hectares and production is maximized," Minister Syahrul wrote on December 20.
He said that the current rising prices of rice are caused by farmers not harvesting. The supply of rice in the community, according to him, remains sufficient, namely 60 percent of the total rice supply in the country.
Citing data from Statistics Indonesia, he assures that the national rice production can still sufficiently meet domestic demands. He then said prices of rice had never reached the retail upper cap prices (HET) and contradicted the World Bank's report by stating that Indonesia has the second lowest price for rice in ASEAN.