Semarang, C Java (ANTARA News) - National Logistics Agency (Bulog) President Director Mustafa Abubakar said Bulog remained to prioritize the purchase of domestic unhulled rice and rice while rice imports would only be the last choice for the national rice procurement.
Mustafa made the remark to demonstrators from the Indonesian Muslim University Students` Action Unit (KAMMI) here Thursday when he attended Bulog`s technical coordination meeting on the procurement of unhulled rice/rice 2007.
"What you are proposing now conforms to what we are discussing at the meeting today. We are monitoring that the procurement of unhulled rice/rice from regions is not so fluent as we are expecting," he told the demonstrators.
"We are discussing to find out difficulties the farmers are facing in sending their harvest results to Bulog, complaints lodged by officials in the food sector, farmer groups and other farmer organizations," he said.
According to Mustafa, the measure was taken in an effort to increase the purchase of unhulled rice/rice from the farmers for the national food procurement.
In support of the measure, Bulog also involved new graduates from the agriculture faculty of 13 universities and the Indonesian Farmers Association among other farmer organizations, he said.
"After the meeting, we will go to the field to know difficulties the farmers are facing from themselves in selling their unhulled rice or rice to Bulog," he added.
"Please help prevent unhulled rice/rice in Central Java from being taken by speculators. Don`t let speculators illegally hoard the staple. Don`t let rice disappear (on the market) causing high prices," he said.
During the rally, KAMMI among others called for an increase in the government purchasing price for unhulled rice to Rp3,000 per kilogram, buying unhulled rice/rice directly from farmers, diverting the use of funds amounting to Rp6.46 trillion to buy rice by Bulog to buying unhulled rice from farmers.
On the occasion, chairman of KAMMI`s Semarang chapter Muhith Harahap handed over unhulled rice from farmers to the Bulog president director.