Located in Asia, Indonesia is a rice importing nation and the country features in the list of top ten rice importers of the world. For hundreds of Indonesians, rice serves as a staple food commodity and so the country every year imports huge volumes of rice to meet its domestic needs.
However, rice imports always attract some kind of uproar or the other in Indonesia. Along with being a staple food commodity, rice serves as a sort of political commodity in the country as well and many people see rice imports as a taboo and correspond it with country’s failure to achieve self-sufficiency, although there might not be any ground to believe so.
Even then, Indonesia imports rice to avert the risk of food crisis and even now, the Indonesian government have given the green nod to BULOG- the state owned food logistics firm with respect to rice imports.
BULOG Gets The Nod For Rice Imports
Amid the floating risk of an imminent food crisis, Indonesian government has given the state owned food logistics firm-BULOG, the green light to go ahead with the rice imports. While the move is completely justified as it has been taken with a view to ensure that no unruly social and political unrest takes place over shortage of grain, this will be the first time since 2018 that Indonesia will import rice in huge volumes from the international rice market.
Low Rice Reserves Behind Indonesia’s Rice Import Decision
Indonesia’s state logistics agency-BULOG, holds only 5,03,000 tonnes of rice as of now as against the required sufficiency level of 1.1 million tonnes to 1.5 million tonnes.
Further, it has to distribute 2,00,000 tonnes this month, which will further deplete the low rice reserves that BULOG has.
Owing to these, the Indonesian government has allowed the imports of the staple despite being aware of people’s perspective on rice imports.
BULOG has set a target to procure 1.2 million tonnes of rice by the end of the year. However, it is difficult to secure the volume with the domestic rice production and hence the country has to import rice to ensure adequate stocks for domestic consumption.
Commenting on the situation, Indonesia’s president Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said that there needs to be awareness with respect to the risk of food crisis since it has the potential to trigger social and political unrest.
It is because of this that Indonesia has given its state food logistics firm, BULOG the license to go ahead with the Rice Imports.
The Bottom Line
Despite being located in a region that is considered to be the best for rice cultivation, Indonesia imports rice every year to meet its needs. Although rice imports are always seen as a deficiency by the government by the people of Indonesia, the country has to import rice to avoid food crisis and sky high price of the commodity in the domestic market.
On similar terms, Indonesia is looking to import rice and have given BULOG a green light in this regard as the reserves of rice with state owned logistics company stand low as of date.
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