Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Politics of Rice 24

According to Bustanul Arifin, if the Indonesian national socio-economic survey (the Susenas) is conducted and if the poor are sampled, most likely the poverty number will increase (supposedly due to the increase in rice price), a condition that worries the government.

I too believe that the absolute poverty is likely to increase -- the late harvest would not be able to compensate for the skyrocketing rice price.

But what strikes me is the fact that Bustanul implies that there is a possibility that the poor will not get sampled in the Susenas. That is ridiculous. Is he saying that you can actually exclude the poor from such survey?


Budiman said...

I think the Rice issue will continue to hurt us for the next couple of months unless the government opened up the market. It is silly for them to focus on controlling the price to help the farmers instead of finding ways to help the farmers to be more efficient such as providing them with better irrigation & transportation/distribution system.
I agree that we should protect our farmers but we can just protect our farmers by using import bans as rice is the stapels for ALL Indonesians.
Another point I would like to make is that the government needs to bring family planning back into the picture. We are losing more and more land for plantation to be used for dwelling. We just can't continue to grow in population they way we are right now. This way we can control the demand & increaset the supply.

Aco said...

Budiman, thanks for your comment. But disagree with your other point, i.e. family planning. The government has no right to tell you or me how many kids we can have. It's us who decide.