President holds a meeting to forestall impact of drought

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – President Joko Widodo on Friday held a meeting with a number of cabinet ministers and chief of the Board of Logistics (Bulog) to see what has to be done and what were already done to forestall possible damaging impact of long drought.

The Cabinet Ministers included Coordinating Minister for Economy Darmin Nasution, Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita, and Minister of State Enterprises Rini Sumarno and Bulog chief Budi Waseso.

“The dry season is a bit extreme that the President considered it necessary to check our readiness especially in rice stock,” Darmin told reporters after the meeting.

Darmin acknowledged there was a slight increase in the prices of a number of foodstuffs in the past three days that the president wanted actions before the prices climb higher.

“Before it is going worse, the President wants to check. All figures given by the Bulog chief, and the Agriculture Minister showed that we are secured,” Darmin said.

The senior Economics Minister pledged rice supply would be secured until the end of the year even after the grand harvest next year.

Market operation would be launched in the event of a surge in price to bring down the price, he said.

He also said there would be no import of rice despite the dry season , adding Bulog still has a stock of more than 2 million tons at present.

Bulog Chief Budi Wasesa said Bulog has been well prepared in facing the dry season.

“From the beginning we have gone to the market to raise stock. Now we have granaries full of stock especially in Java,” he said.

Even in the regions outside Java, the process of buying rice from farmers to raise stock has run well that all granaries were almost full, he added.

“That means we are ready to face the dry season. Now we have more than 2 million tons – almost 2.2 million tons of rice in stock. Stocks are also quite sufficient in rice market,” he said. Reported by Joko Susilo (SYS/AS/a014).

Source: ANTARA News