JAKARTA: Indonesia has signed an agreement with the Indian government to potentially import 1 million tonnes of rice if the El Nino weather pattern hits domestic supply, media quoted the trade minister as saying on Friday.

The agreement would come on top of a 2 million tonnes rice import quota issued for Indonesian state food procurement agency Bulog this year, Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan was quoted as saying by news site Kompas.com.

Indonesia’s trade ministry and India’s food ministry did not immediately respond to requests for confirmation.

Indonesia is expecting a severe dry season from the impact of the El Nino weather pattern, which started in June and could worsen until September, threatening harvests and raising the risks of forest fires, the country’s weather agency said recently.

The Indonesian government’s rice stocks stood at 560,000 tonnes as of early June, according to the National Food Agency.

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Bulog had procured 500,000 tonnes of rice from local farmers as of May, of the 2.4 million tonnes targeted for the year.

It earlier this year imported 350,000 tonnes of rice of the 2023 quota of 2 million tonnes.

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