Indonesia has signed deals with Vietnam and Thailand, which both are committed to sale one million ton of rice to Indonesia annually, after the new Thai government failed to fulfill its commitment, which was made with the previous government, as its plan to favor its farmers increased the prices for exports, according to the minister.
“Now, rice has been available at the international market, including in Vietnam, India and Pakistan,” Hatta said at the State Palace. Indonesia, which has just finished great rice harvest, is weathering long drought season which could disturb rice production in some areas, pushing the government to boost rice stockpile for price stability from importation.
The minister said that Indonesian aimed at increasing rice stockpile from current level of 1.5 million tons to two ton this year. And it could be raised to 3.5 million tons if the government have sufficient funds.
Extreme weather had decreased production and hampered supply of rice in Indonesia from the end of last year to January this year, shooting inflation to a 21-month high of 7.02 percent in January. The government forecast that rice production would rise to 70.6 million tons this year from 67 million tons last year, Deputy Agriculture Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi said.—NNI