Gov’t Ensures Stability of Staple Food Prices, Supplies
Date 26 Maret 2020
In a bid to control domestic food supply amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the Government is committed to managing the stability of staple food supply and their prices.
“Amidst this Covid-19 pandemic, the Government is committed to maintaining balance between demand and supply for staple food. For that reason, participation of all stakeholders is expected to support the Government to assure the availability of staple food at rational prices,” said Ministry of Trade’s Director General of Domestic Trade Suhanto in a press statement at the National Disaster Mitigation Agency Building (BNPB), Central Jakarta, Wednesday (25/3).
As of 24 March 2020, Ministry of Trade observed that the national average prices for several food commodities are relatively stable, including rice, cooking oil, flour, soybeans, beef, broiler eggs, and shallots.
Meanwhile, prices of purebred chicken meat, curly red chili, large red chili have dropped compared to those in the previous month, while the price for garlic still has skyrocketed due to a lack of supply.
A sharp increase in sugar and red cayenne pepper prices have also been reported.
Sugar price has increased by 23.4 percent to Rp17,781/kg or 42.25 percent higher than the highest retail price (HET), which is Rp12,500/kg, while price of red cayenne pepper rose by 8.45 percent to Rp48,500/kg compared to last month.
“Domestic food supplies will be sufficient to meet rising demand ahead of and during the upcoming fasting month of Ramadhan and Idul Fitri. The Government is taking measures to increase garlic and sugar supply through importers and SOE assignments,” Suhanto said.
On that occasion, Suhanto also said that Ministry of Trade has approved an Import Approval of 150,000 tons of garlic, while 11,000 tons of garlic were imported on 19 March 2020.
Ministry of Trade has also issued Regulation of Minister of Trade Number 27 of 2020 to speed up import licenses to increase domestic supply.
The regulation is stated that Import Approval (PI) and Surveyor Report (LS) are not required in the garlic and onion import process, which is valid until 31 May 2020.
“Ministry of Trade and the Food Task Force continues to monitor all importers’ warehouses to ensure there will be no commodities stockpiling during the current situation. We also will continue to conduct intensive supervision. For those who violate the rules, they will be strictly punished,” Suhanto added.
On sugar commodity, Suhanto said that Ministry of Trade has ensured the availability of sugar in early April until June this year, adding that the Government urged the public to remain calm, to stop panic buying, and to take care of their respective environments during the coronavirus outbreak.
“Do activities at home, but keep practicing physical-distancing once you leave the house. We should also protect our health and implement hygiene instructions,” Suhanto said, adding that the media is expected to make positive news that calm the public and tells them not to do panic buying.
“In the state of emergency for coronavirus outbreak, attention and participation of all stakeholders is imperative,” Suhanto said. (Ministry of Trade’s Public Relations / EN)
Translated by: Syarifah Aisyah
Reviewed by: M. Ersan Pamungkas