EU Passes Legislation Prohibiting Imports Linked to Deforestation
Companies that trade in coffee, beef, soy, and other commodities linked to deforestation would be prevented from entering the European Union market under a new regulation passed by the EU.
Under the new regulation, companies that sell goods into the EU will have to show a "due diligence statement" that shows their supply chains don't destroy forests, or they will have to pay hefty fines.
“If the imports are done. What’s the fate of farmers? Especially considering that several regions will declare grand harvest in early 2023,” said Mujahid.
He thinks that the fuss over rice imports shows that Indonesia doesn't deal with food problems in a well-rounded way. The classic problem, he said, resides in the fact that there are discrepancies between data collected by state ministries and institutions.
This problem was avoided by using a single set of data to avoid conflicts of interest. According to him, the issue of government rice reserves should have been better anticipated by making several policy changes.
He believes changes need to be introduced to the government's purchase price (HPP) for rice and unhulled rice. He believes that the current HPP is obsolete and that it must be revised immediately.
Farmers would rather sell their grain and rice to middlemen than to Bulog or the State Logistics Agency. He thinks that Bulog and the State Logistics Agency should also be able to work with farmers' cooperatives to come up with rice absorption plans.
However, he asserted that this can only happen once the HPP reflects a fair price for both farmers and the government.
Arief Prasetyo Adi, who is in charge of the National Food Agency, said that the government's rice reserves were getting low and that importing rice should be an option right away in case of emergencies in the future.
"These food reserves must be available though it is not issued freely [to the market] and is only used for several Government programs," said Arief in his statement on Tuesday.
Planned uses for the imported rice stock include disaster management, price intervention if needed, and several other government activities. Also, their use will be closely watched to ensure no one gets into the market.
The government then promised that the imported rice would not interfere with the farmers' crops.