Govt rice aid disbursal starting Mar 31

id Arief Prasetyo Adi,National Food Agency,Bapanas,Bulog,State Logistics Agency,Social Affairs Ministry,rice,aid,assistance

Govt rice aid disbursal starting Mar 31

Packages containing government rice assistance. (ANTARA/HO-State Logistics Agency/uyu)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Head of the National Food Agency (Bapanas) Arief Prasetyo Adi has said the government will begin disbursing rice assistance in stages to 21.353 million beneficiaries (KPM) from March 31, 2023. In a statement released here on Friday, he informed that the disbursement of the aid will be carried out by the State Logistics Agency (Bulog). Meanwhile, the beneficiaries have been determined by the Social Affairs Ministry, he noted.

The Bapanas head said that the provision of the assistance is a follow-up to President Joko Widodo’s (Jokowi's) directives at a previous meeting to various ministers and heads of state institutions on attempts to maintain food stability and control inflation.

He informed that the aid, which will be disbursed for the next three months, is being provided considering that there will be an increase in demand for food commodities during the Ramadhan month and Eid al-Fitr 1444 Hijri.

The Islamic fasting month started on March 23, 2023, while the holy day is estimated to fall on April 22, 2023. “We hope this (the rice assistance) can ease the expenditure of the beneficiaries," Adi stated.

About 630 thousand tons of rice is required to meet the target for the assistance program. Hence, the Bapanas head asked the Agriculture Offices and Social Affairs Offices of all regional governments to support the distribution of the aid so that the program can be carried out right on target.

"Thus, the aid can be received by the KPM properly, the (assistance) disbursement runs smoothly, the administrative process is carried out orderly, and there are no mistakes which can make the state suffer losses," he remarked.

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On Wednesday (March 29, 2023), the agency's Deputy III for Consumption Diversification and Food Safety Andriko Noto Susanto visited the warehouse of Bulog’s North Surabaya branch office along with Bulog’s Regional Head for East Java Ermin Tora. Their visit aimed to ensure the availability of the Government's Rice Reserve (CBP) for the assistance program.

In addition to checking the quantity of the CBP, Susanto reviewed the quality of the prepared rice aid by checking the percentage of water and broken grain content in one package of rice. Based on the review, the commodity is in good condition and ready to be distributed, he noted. Meanwhile, Tora said that his party had prepared 30 thousand tons of food aid rice.