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Jokowi extends rice assistance program in June

Tempo - June 4, 2024

Antara, Jakarta – Head of the National Food Agency (Bapanas) Arief Prasetyo Adi said that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has approved the extension of the social assistance program in the form of 10-kilogram rice. This program is aimed at benefiting 22 million recipient families (KPM) across the archipelago.

"Thank God, today Bapak President Jokowi has granted approval for the continuation of rice food aid (banpang) for 22 million families across Indonesia, in the form of the best quality rice sourced from Bulog (National Logistics Agency) at 10 kilograms per family per two months," Arief said in a statement in Jakarta on Monday, June 3, as reported by Antara.

The President has agreed to extend the food aid after June. "So this pro-people program in 2024 will take place again after June, specifically in August, October, and December," he added.

In this way, the government's presence and attention will persist in supporting the economy of 22 million beneficiary families, encompassing approximately 89 million people. "This means that almost a third of the Indonesian people are receiving good quality Bulog rice from the government."

Arief believes that social aid is crucial, especially given escalating global food prices. "Indonesia has banpang, whereas other countries don't provide free food in the form of rice," he said, expressing confidence that the rice supply and the national inflation could be maintained.

Citing data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS) in February 2024, the monthly inflation rate for rice prices was quite high at 5.32 percent. In March and April 2024, the figure weakened to 2.06 percent and minus 2.72 percent, respectively.

By May 2024, it weakened further to minus 3.59 percent, contributing to an inflation of minus 0.15 percent. This trend is influenced by the availability of sufficient rice stocks, as domestic rice production has been quite high over the last three months.

Rice production was estimated at 3.38 million tons in March 2024, followed by 5.31 million tons in April and 3.58 million tons in May 2024.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1875604/jokowi-extends-rice-assistance-program-in-jun