Illustration image (Source: thepresidentpost)

The Indonesian State Logistics Agency (Bulog) has said that the national stock of subsidised rice will possibly run low next year.

Bulog’s President Director Djarot Kusumayakti was quoted by the Jakarta Post newspaper as saying that by December, the agency’s subsidised rice stock will reach 62,000 tonnes but around 1.5 to 2 million tonnes is needed to meet next year’s demand prior to the harvest.

The government could resolve the shortage either by procuring more rice from local farmers or by converting the existing premium rice into subsidised rice, he said.

Including premium non-subsidised rice, total rice stocks at Bulog stood at around 800,000 to 900,000 tonnes, according to Djarot.

The subsidised rice shortage stems from the Government extension of the subsidised rice programme from 12 to 14 months amid concerns over the impact of the El Niño-induced dry weather that has cut rice production in some regions.

Meanwhile, Bulog proposed the allocation of an extra 3.4 trillion Rupiah (234.7 million USD) in funding to finance two additional months of subsidised rice distribution.

The Ministry of Agriculture recently said that the government would not increase its target for rice production next year due to the drought.

In 2016, the government hopes to produce 47 million tonnes of rice, matching the total rice production predicted for this year by the Central Statistics Agency (BPS).-VNA