Suara.com – The government will extend food assistance in the form of the second phase of rice social assistance (Bansos) until December 2023. In fact, this second phase of rice social assistance only lasts for three months, not from September to November.
Head of the National Food Agency, Arief Prasetyo Adi, said that the extension of this assistance was to help people in need to anticipate the impact of El Nino on the food sector and control inflation.
“In accordance with Mr. President Joko Widodo’s direction that the second phase of rice food aid continue until December, of course we will prepare it swiftly. The extension of this aid distribution period is necessary to continue to maintain rice price stability. Moreover, El Nino from September until now can have an impact two months later. and felt by the community, especially low-income communities,” said Arief in his written statement, Friday (27/10/2023).
Then, continued Arief, regarding the plan to continue rice food aid until March next year (2024), we will also prepare together with the relevant ministries and institutions as well as Perum Bulog. Detailed preparation, especially in terms of ensuring supply availability, must be the focus.
In general, the amount of stock needed by Bulog to stabilize and help people in need by extending rice food aid this December is around 200 thousand tons. Then stocks for January to March 2024 range from more than 600 thousand tons.
“This assistance is intended for 20.662 million Beneficiary Families (KPM) every month. Of course this requires budget support from the Ministry of Finance and also approval from the President as has been conveyed on several occasions during the review of the distribution of food aid in Padang, Palembang and Lampung in a few days last,” he explained.
The total number of recipients of rice food aid has been curated by the Ministry of Social Affairs for KPM data so that the total number of recipients is 20.662 million.
According to Arief, KPM has now been corrected to 20.662 million. Therefore, he will sharpen the accuracy of his data, so that rice food aid is more targeted. If a KPM does not match the data, then it can be replaced by the village/district government.
“So if there are complaints from the public that have not been included in the KPM, of course they can immediately report them to the RT/RW or Village Head/Lurah who will then be verified by the local regional social service. This is because the criteria for KPM recipients of rice food aid are poor families who “recorded in the Ministry of Social Affairs database,” he explained.
Furthermore, the realization of the second phase of rice food aid which was launched from September 11 to October 24 has reached 65.82 percent or 407,250,560 kg. The distribution target until November is 618,687,480 kg.
Based on monitoring on the NFA Food Price Panel, it can be seen that there has been a downward trend in the price of medium rice that has occurred since early October. On October 1, the average price recorded in all provinces for medium rice was IDR 13,220 per kg. Then it experienced a decrease of 20 points on October 26 which was recorded at IDR 13,200 per kg.