Jokowi Calls RI for 3 Years Without Importing Rice, Here Are the Facts

Jakarta

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) received an award from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) for his success in achieving food security, especially rice self-sufficiency. According to Jokowi, this achievement cannot be separated from the government’s efforts to build agricultural infrastructure such as dams, irrigation and reservoirs.

On that occasion, Jokowi also said that Indonesia had succeeded in reducing the amount of corn imports and it was no longer there import rice for 3 years.

“In the past we had to import 3.5 million tons of corn. Now we import 800 thousand tons. This is a huge leap. God willing, we will not import corn again in 2-3 years, like rice which has not been imported for 3 years,” said Jokowi at the State Palace, Sunday (14/8/2022).

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Jokowi said, Indonesia consistently produces rice as much as 31.3 million tons per year from 2019 to 2021. Meanwhile, according to BPS calculations at the end of April 2022, rice stocks in the field reached their highest level, which was 10.2 million tons.

Regarding Indonesia’s claim, there is no longer rice import for 3 years, then is it true?

Based on data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), which was updated on August 12, 2022, Indonesia is still importing rice from a number of countries. In 2021, the number even reached 407,741.4 tons, up from 2020 which was only 356,286.2 tons.

The details of rice imports in 2021 are 215,386.5 tons from India, 69,360 from Thailand, 65,692.9 tons from Vietnam, 52,479 tons from Pakistan, 3,790 from Myanmar, 230.3 tons from Japan, 42.6 tons from China, and from other countries amounted to 760.1 tons.

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In 2019 the number of Indonesian rice imports was 444,508.8 tons. Pakistan became the largest rice importer at that time with a total of 182,564 tons. In that year, Indonesia also imported 166,700.6 tons of rice from Myanmar, and 53,278 tons of rice from Thailand.

The highest number of rice imports since 2000 occurred in 2018. At that time, Indonesia imported up to 2,253,824.4 tons. Rice imported from Thailand reached 795,600 tons, while from Vietnam it was 767,180 tons.

But, it should be noted. BPS confirmed that Indonesia is no longer importing rice. The rice import that Jokowi meant was the import of rice for public consumption or medium rice. Meanwhile, the BPS data above is for special rice imports.

According to CNBC Indonesia, Deputy for Distribution Statistics and Services at BPS Setianto, opened his voice about the differences in data presented by Jokowi and BPS. He emphasized that Indonesia had never imported rice for public consumption in recent years. The data owned by BPS is only data on special rice imports which are distributed to certain locations such as hotels, restaurants and cafes.

“That the government does not import rice is correct. Because what Mr. Jokowi meant was that there was no import of rice (medium rice) that we consume daily. That is no longer there,” Setianto said when contacted by CNBC Indonesia, Monday (20/3/ 2021).

Watch Videos”President Jokowi: In 2021 Until Today, We Have Not Imported Rice
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