Indonesian Government recommended to maintain rice imports hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: Antara)
Jakarta (VNA) – The Indonesian Government needs to consider continuing rice imports until the year-end as the effects of El Nino will cause longer famine compared to last year, said Khudori, an agricultural expert from the Indonesia Association for Political Economy (AEPI).

As reported by the local weekly magazine Tempo, El Nino would cause a two-month delay in the rainy season and in turn, the harvest season. Thus, the famine is expected to last until April next year, causing rice prices to rise if the rice reserve becomes limited. Thus, Khudori stressed that an additional rice import is necessary.

According to the expert's calculation, the National Logistics Agency (Bulog) has 1.5 million tonnes of government rice reserves to stabilise the market price. Adding 400,000 tonnes of import, the end-of-year rice stock could amount to 1.9 million tonnes. However, the reserve will partly be drained by the distribution of social assistance of up to 640,000 tonnes. Meanwhile, the market operation to stabilise the rice price will take 50,000 tonnes of rice in the September-November period and 100,000 tonnes in December. 

Therefore, the reserve will be about 1 million tonnes of rice, falling behind the initial target of 1.2 million tonnes of rice, Khudori added./.