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Rice fortification in Indonesia is still in the development stage. From the FGD conducted in the series of FGD activities on Strengthening the Role of Private Sector Stakeholders in the Implementation of Mandatory Food Fortification in Indonesia on November 13-14, 2023 at Harris Hotel Tebet, it is implied that rice fortification has the support of various parties, although it is not yet mandatory. Although, there is no mandatory regulation that requires the industry to conduct rice fortification, rice fortification SNI standards or rules regarding the quality safety system of fortified rice in Indonesia, industry initiatives to commercially fortify rice have been implemented in the last 2-3 years. The development of rice fortification in Indonesia has tremendous potential. This is supported by the existing umbrella of laws and government policies (rice fortification is included in the RPJMN 2020-2024), the availability of rice social support programs, and the availability of technology for the production of grain premixes. The position of rice as the staple food for most Indonesians is also one of the potentials for the development of rice fortification in Indonesia. Based on data from the BPS (2022), the rice consumption of the Indonesian population has been increasing. Household rice consumption ranges from 64 to 93 kg per capita per year in 2021.
Table 1. Rice consumption at home by household expenditure group in 2021
Source: BPS (2022)
In terms of production, there are 169,789 rice milling enterprises spread across various provinces in Indonesia with details of 95.06 percent are small-scale rice mills, 7,332 enterprises or about 4.32 percent and as many as 1,056 enterprises or 0.62 percent are large-scale rice mills (BPS 2021).
Figure 1. Distribution of rice mills in Indonesia
In addition, the results of the Raskin fortification trial conducted in Karawang District, SEAFAST Center conducted an acceptance trial of Raskin fortification (Forti Rice), the results of which can generally be concluded that respondents cannot distinguish rice from rice fortified with DSM's premixed rice kernel (RFK) from non-fortified regular rice. This is one of the reasons why rice fortification may be a silent intervention in addressing micronutrient problems in Indonesia (BRIA 2016).
In addition to the driving factors for the development of rice fortification in Indonesia, there are also various barriers. One of the obstacles in rice fortification is the cost of fortificant (kernel), which is still expensive at around Rp500-Rp1,000/kg plus the cost of mixing at Rp400. As a result, the selling price is still above the price ceiling and unaffordable for low-income people who need it more. Effectiveness studies are also needed to determine the impact on the wider community. The standard for grain premix is currently being developed by the Ministry of Health. It is also very important to educate the public to properly accept and use fortified rice. In addition to the factors mentioned above, a rice fortification landscape analysis study conducted by Nutrition International in collaboration with technoserve in 2023, mapped the following factors inhibiting the success of rice fortification in Indonesia:
- Lack of incentives for fortification industry for industries that have initiatives to produce fortified rice
- Burdensome price instability
- Fortification costs (relative to commodity and FRK prices) remain high.
- Although social rice subsidies are available, there are no concrete steps to implement fortification of social rice subsidies (100% target in 2024). It is unlikely that the BPNT will be implemented as a system for distributing social assistance rice because the BNPT is no longer being implemented, and if it is implemented, target groups may choose non-fortified rice or other foods, making the rice fortification program ineffective.
- Demand for rice from government programs and commercial markets is non-existent/not yet established, making the industry reluctant to make long-term investments. There is no quality assurance capacity building program to produce standardized products that meet food quality and safety requirements.
Despite the existence of various inhibiting factors for rice fortification mentioned above, the development of rice fortification in Indonesia has enormous potential, either through government support programs or commercially (Rep: Roz&Elm).