Declining prices have been seen in some regions in Central Java and East Java such as Blora, Bojonegoro, Ngawi and Pati. Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman said on Monday that price drops, mainly because of increased production, has discouraged farmers from cultivating their fields. Recent prices have varied from Rp 3,100 to Rp 3,500 per kg. Therefore the government will maintain the price of rice above Rp 3,700 (28 US cents) per kilogram by buying the commodity directly from farmers. This decision will reduce the impact of loss faced by the rice farmers.
According to Central Statistics Agency (BPS) data, in January the average price of rice was at Rp 5,400 per kilogram. Amran said at the State Palace on Monday that, “our team is already in the field along with the State Logistics Agency to monitor prices and the day after tomorrow we will hold a meeting following which the market operation will begin.” Indonesia’s annual rice production increased by 9 million tons to 79.14 million tons in 2016 because a long wet season enabled farmers to plant more than usual. The 2017 rice production target is set at 75 million tons.