InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA – El Nino this year raises challenges to stabilize food supplies and prices. The government has done some strategic things, such as, boosting production and food imports.
Director of Food Availability Badan Pangan Nasional (Bapanas), Budi Waryanto said that the institution has done some strategic things, particularly in downstream sectors in order to minimize the pressure of commodities prices, such as, rice, for instance, keep delivering rice helps (10 kilogram) which ran in the first phase (March – May) to 21,353 million families in Keluarga Penerima Manfaat (KPM). He thought this was effectively pressing inflation.
Meanwhile, to anticipate the impacts of El Nino in association with availability, Budi mentioned, the government prepared food backup in rice helps in the same program for 21 million KPM. The helps which were executed in the first semester for three months decreased the inflation. “But when it was no longer running, inflation increased in September. The president urged to continue the program in September, October, November,” he said in a discussion by Forum Wartawan Pertanian (Forwatan) with the theme “Antisipasi Krisis Pangan Di Tengah Ancaman El Nino”, Tuesday (31/10/2023).
That is why he predicted the program would continue until March 2024 to anticipate the minor production – consumption balance which happened from the late of planting by the late of 2023. In addition, the government should also anticipate religious days – Christmas and New Year, and democracy in February 2024, Ramadhan and Idul Fitri. “We have to notice food backup to remain good,” he said.
Budi hoped that next year food production particularly paddy could be normal again. His institution encouraged Perum Badan Urusan Logistik to get grain from the farmers. The target should reach 2,4 million tons. The numbers should be realized so that the government would maintain inflation well. “Not only rice, but also meat, and eggs. We tried breakthrough to deliver egg helps,” he said.
Meanwhile, Director of Agriculture Irrigation Directorate of Agriculture Infrastructure, Ministry of Agriculture, Rahmanto said that El Nino this year is not too significant but the long drought delivered impact to postpone paddy plantings.
“If paddy planting was generally in October, for there is no intensive rain, it should be delayed. If the planting is delayed, the harvest would be next year. This is a worry. January and February next year would be in decreasing production. This is not significant this year,” Rahmanto said.
Quoting from Central Bureau of Statistic, Rahmanto continued that the existing harvests laid on about 10,45 million hectares (ha) with the production about 54,74 million tons of milled dry grain or gabah keringi giling (GKG) or 31,75 tons of rice with the productivity 5,2 tons/ha. Ministry of Agriculture targeted to get 35 million tons of rice or grain production about 54,74 million tons. “It means there would be additional production up to 3,2 million tons of rice next year,” he said. (T2)