JAKARTA, INDONESIA — Indonesia is striving to reach 1.2 million tonnes of rice reserves by the end of the year, enough to meet 3.9% of domestic demand, as it battles inflation, Reuters reported, citing an official with the National Food Agency (Bapanas).

The state food procurement agency Bulog currently has 700,000 tonnes of rice in its stocks, and the government will prioritize securing the additional 500,000 tonnes through domestic production rather than imports, I Gusti Ketut Astawa, a senior official at Bapanas, told Reuters.

Rice output this year is estimated to grow 2.29% to about 32.07 million tonnes, with output in October-December estimated at 5.9 million tonnes, according to Indonesia’s statistics office. 

Authorities have been seeking to build up adequate reserves of various staple foods to ensure price stability at a time of soaring inflation. The annual inflation rate in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy in September reached a seven-year high at 5.95%, with volatile food inflation at 9.02%, according to Reuters.

Under a new presidential regulation, which took effect Oct. 24, Bapanas with the help of state-owned enterprises plans to secure stocks of 11 staple foods, such as rice, corn, soybeans, shallots, chili, sugar for household, cooking oil, as well as some meat and fish.