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Rice price to soar amid El Nino threats, India rice export ban

Tempo - July 24, 2023

Riani Sanusi Putri, Jakarta – Coordinator of People's Coalition for Food Security (KRKP) Said Abdullah predicted the rice price in Indonesia will soar due to the extreme weather threats of El Nino which may cause drought and declining rice production.

Additionally, India, the world's biggest rice exporter, has stopped their export to preserve their food security. The problem is Indonesia was one of its importers. "Indonesia is in an unfortunate position with this. This implicates a price rise," said Said when called by Tempo on Sunday, July 23, 2023.

Said explained that the decline in India's export volume will affect global food stability. Indonesia, as one of the world's food importers, will face a threat to its food stability and price. Further, Indonesia is dependent on Thailand, Vietnam, and India to secure domestic rice stock. Meanwhile, India has closed its rice export since June 20, 2023, while Vietnam plans to stop 44% of its rice export.

According to Said, Indonesia could anticipate this situation by ensuring the stability of domestic rice production. He also urged the government to prepare an alternative exporter to India and Vietnam. However, import should be the last option. The government shall optimize domestic rice production by providing irrigation pumps and drought-resistant seeds.

Said also recommends the government map areas with the most drought potential and determine the intervention measures, for example by repairing damaged irrigation systems.

Ministry of Agriculture is also expected to assist farmers to switch into drought-resistant commodities. Assistance, said Said, could be given by providing the technology and information that will decrease a failed harvest risk.

For areas with adequate water supplies, Said asked the government to ensure that the facilities and conditions suffice in these areas. The government also needs to arrange a specific budget to bear the damages caused by drought. Said remarked that it could be done by a crop insurance mechanism.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1751356/rice-price-to-soar-amid-el-nino-threats-india-rice-export-ba