The impacts of the Indonesian government subsidized rice program, RASKIN, were assessed in two rural villages in West Timor, eastern Indonesia, where traditionally the staple food is maize. The RASKIN program aims to make subsidized rice available to poor households, the allocation estimated to be a third of household requirements. All of the households interviewed bought subsidized rice when it was first available in this area in 2005, however about 30 % of households did not buy subsidized rice again, mainly because of a preference for maize over rice. Of the households that continued to buy subsidized rice, about half did not have enough cash to buy subsidized rice frequently, suggesting a targeting error of failure to benefit poor households. Households that bought subsidized rice consumed the rice with instant noodles and fewer nuts and beans (traditionally grown and eaten with maize), leading to a potentially lower nutrition intake. The practices of households selling their own produce, such as maize, beans and chickens, to purchase subsidized rice may constitute perverse outcomes, including future food shortages.
Myers, B., Wiendiyati, Pickering, S., & Tenrisanna, V. (2014). Food security of households with access to subsidized rice in west Timor where maize is the traditional staple. Food Security, 6(3), 385-395. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12571-014-0353-5