Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has given the green light for rice import from Vietnam and Thailand in a bid to cater for domestic consumption and stabilise prices.

The President’s decision was announced at the 30th Trade Expo Indonesia in Jakarta on October 21.

President Widodo earlier rejected the import many times.

Indonesian authorities have negotiated with regional rice producers for shipments in case of emergency, with Vietnam able to provide one million tonnes and Thailand having yet given any number.

Indonesia is considering the import volume as changeable weather patterns could largely effect the scale of crop failure.

According to the ministry of agriculture, prolonged dry season in combination with harmful impact of El Nino have led to water shortage across 200,000 hectare of paddies, 30,000 hectares of which failed to yield.

As a result, the national production is unlikely to reach the yearly target of 75.5 million tonnes.

Head of Indonesia’s State Logistics Agency Djarot Kusumayakti said by December, the agency’s rice stock will reach 62,000 tonnes but around 1.5 to 2 million tonnes are needed to meet next year’s demand prior to the harvest.-VNA