Rice, One of the Poverty Contributing Commodities in Indonesia

Rice, One of the Poverty Contributing Commodities in Indonesia

Rice is a staple food for the majority of Indonesian people. Unfortunately, according to data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), rice is one of the poverty contributing commodities in Indonesia. How could this happen?

The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) noted that rice is a commodity contributing to poverty in the country, apart from filter clove cigarettes and purebred chicken eggs.

Head of BPS Margo Yuwono in a press conference a few months ago, quoted on Tuesday (3/1/2022), stated, “Increases in (rice) prices and decreases affect the poverty line,”

BPS stated that rice contributed to poverty in cities by 19.69 percent and in rural areas by 23.79 percent.

Related to rice chaos in the country, Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS) Researcher Hasran assessed that the government must focus on having one food data that is accurate and integrated with all institutions.

“Policies taken based on inaccurate data have the potential to be ineffective in solving problems,” he added.

“The price parameter that shows the availability of food commodities can be one of the considerations. While looking at other potential problems, for example, problems with distribution and external factors that affect it, such as rising fuel prices,” said Hasran.

Concerning rice imports, he considered imports to be a reasonable action considering the insufficient national rice stock, which threatens national food security.

However, imports should ideally not be done reactively. Imports can be planned by considering price movements and rice availability.

“Imports that are carried out suddenly and reactively are also detrimental to Indonesia. Because from a price point of view, the rice obtained is more expensive than imports that are carried out in a planned manner,” explained Hasran.

Furthermore, BPS projects that national rice production in 2022 could increase by 720 thousand tons or 2.29% to 32.07 million tons compared to the realization in 2021 which was recorded at 31.36 million tons.

The jump is expected to be achieved from the increase in production in October-December 2022 which is estimated at 5.9 million tons, up 15.12% or 780 thousand tons compared to the same period in 2021 which was recorded at 5.13 million tons.

This is because, during January-September 2022, RI’s rice production actually decreased by 0.22% or around 60 thousand tons to 26.17 million tons compared to the same period in 2021 which reached 26.23 million tons.

It should be noted, these numbers are provisional figures. Based on the results of the BPS sampling area framework (KSA), this year’s harvested area is predicted to increase by 1.87% or 0.19 million ha to 10.61 million ha compared to 2021 which was recorded at 10.41 million ha.