Waseso informed the press here on Wednesday that he had formed a team involving the Agriculture Ministry, Bulog, and independent experts to analyze the national rice demand and supply.
"The team has recommended that we do not need to import until June 2019. Moreover, Bulog might also not have to release its imported rice stock. We have to maintain it. We should not rely on imports," Waseso, popularly known as Buwas, revealed.
According to Buwas, Bulog's rice stock currently reached 2.4 million tons, and with imports in October, the total rice stocks had reached 2.8 million tons.
Of the total stock, some 100 thousand tons will be utilized for the distribution of rice for the poor (Rastra), that will bring the staple food supply in Bulog's warehouses to 2.7 million tons by the end of December.
The agency has forecast that the rice end-stock could reach three million tons, with additional four thousand tons of daily unhusked rice production during the dry season.
"I do not want to continue the polemic on whether we will import (rice) since according to the analysis, we do not need to import. Supply until June 2019 is safe," Buwas pointed out.
He also questioned the authenticity of data on rice consumption in Indonesia that has reached 2.4 to 2.7 million tons per month, which meant rice consumption per capita had reached 130 kilograms per month.
Buwas noted that ambiguous data led to assumptions that rice demand had surpassed its actual demand.
"It means that infants would need the same quantity of rice. This data did not categorize according to age, so the assumption (of rice demand) has reached 2.7 million tons. In its calculation, our production has never met the demand," Buwas added.