The controversy of rice stocks and rice import in Indonesia sometime make me little bit confuse. The data used by the government people are different one each other. The Mininister of Agriculture Anton Apriantono said that the rice stocks for this year are enough so BULOG (National Logistics Board) should not import rice in the begining of 2006. On the other hand, BULOG’s managing director Widjanarko Puspoyo said that the rice stocks are in red signal (danger), the national rice supplies during the last 3 days decrease from normally 2,000 to 1,700 tons per day.
The new coordinating minister of economic affairs Budiono also disagree with Apriantono and said that the government will import rice in 2006 if needed. The vice president Jusuf Kala also said that the government doesn’t want to take any risk regarding national food stocks. It means that the rice import policy probably still being carried out in 2006.
Domestic farmers and some experts have expressed concerns that the government policy on rice may ruin domestic farmers due to a possible drop in rice prices. The Forum for Indonesian Farmers Unions (FSPI) and the Indonesian Farmers Association (HKTI) have protested against the policy to import rice.
The House of Representatives (DPR) also said Parliament rejected the government`s policy on rice imports. The government must stop rice imports except when the national council on security recommended to import rice due to lack of domestic stock, said House Speakers Agung Laksono at a recent plenary meeting of the Parliament. (ANTARA)