DPD chief averse to rice import policy amid harvest period

Indonesian Regional Representative Council (DPD RI) Chief A. A. LaNyalla Mahmud Mattalitti believes that the policy to import rice is not a solution, as several parts of the country are entering the harvest period.

“Rice import is not a solution, the more so since several (parts of the country) are entering the harvest period,” Mattalitti remarked while attending a function marking the first harvest of rice of the nutri zinc variety in Sumba Barat Daya District, East Nusa Tenggara Province, on Tuesday.

Attendees at the function also comprised Senator Asyera R. A. Wundalero of East Nusa Tenggara, Senator Bustami Zainudin of Lampung, and Sumba Barat Daya district head and vice district head.

Mattalitti, concurrently senator of East Java, noted that the rice import policy is not a solution, while rice stocks at the National Logistics Agency (Bulog) are sufficient.

“The issue we face is not a rice shortage since stocks of the commodity at the Bulog warehouses are still adequate,” Mattalitti noted.

“(However), our problem is a lack of success to control and facilitate the rice distribution process through a good supply chain system. As a result, the prices of unhusked rice in several regions fall,” Mattalitti explained.

To this end, he supported Bulog’s step to update President Joko Widodo of the recent national stocks of rice.

The issue of rice stocks must be viewed from the government’s policy related to the management and trade of the farm commodity, he remarked.

“The policy covers a wide range of issues, ranging from basic philosophy to the government’s view to farmers whether to categorize them as a subject or object,” he noted.

Source: Antara News