Indonesias Food Prices are Still High: President Jokowi
President Joko Jokowi Widodo said that prices of food in Indonesia are still higher than those in other countries such as the Philippines, China, Cambodia, India, Thailand or Vietnam.
Therefore, the President said that this issue must be responded to carefully considering that 81 percent of Indonesian population is net rice consumers.
It means that the increase in food price will affect 81 percent of our people and food contributes 73 percent of Indonesias poverty level. We must be really careful (to address these issues) , the President said in his remarks at the limited cabinet meeting on food security at the Presidential Office, Jakarta, on Wednesday afternoon (27/1).
President Jokowi added that food also plays a very important role for the quality of life of the people.
Data shows 35 percent of Indonesian infants suffer from stunting and Indonesia is one the five countries in the world with most cases of stunting in children under five.
The President also said that he had received a report that rice price increase in 2011-2014- 2015 has already reached 70 percent and said that this issue must be carefully addressed so the price can be normalized.
Therefore, the President added, comprehensive measures are needed to maintain the balance between supply and demand as well as to improve trade distribution chain, agriculture information and data system.
President Jokowi stressed that the goals of policies in the food sector are to provide enough food for the people, to reduce poverty level since food issues significantly contributes to poverty level, to bring greater prosperity for the farmers, to make domestic food producers have a greater role in supplying the demand of food, and to make the State Budget more effective to bring prosperity to the people. The last one is related to the subsidy.
President Jokowi also noted that the Government aimed to bring prosperity for the farmers and traders as well as to provide enough supply of food for consumers.
We hope that not only traders who are prosperous and get benefits but also producers, the President said.
Once again, the point is, we need policies to create balance between producers, traders, and consumers, the President added.
He also told related institutions that in formulating food policies, those ministries must have comprehensive mindsets.
For example, he said, Ministry of Agriculture must not only think about farmers, or Ministry of Trade must not only think about traders.
Also attending the meeting were Vice President Jusuf Kalla, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Luhut B. Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister for the Economy Darmin Nasution, Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Puan Maharani, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Presidential Chief of Staff Teten Masduki, Minister of Trade Thomas Lembong, Minister of Finance Bambang Brodjonegoro, Minister of Health Nila F. Moeloek, Minister of Social Affairs Khofifah Parawansa and Minister of Agriculture Amran Sulaiman. (DND/FID/JAY/ES) (EP/YM/Naster)