The President Assigns Minister of Trade and Minister of Agriculture to Maintain Reasonable Food Prices
Concerning the hike of food prices recently, President Joko Widodo has assigned the Minister of Trade Thomas Lembong and Minister of Agriculture Amran Sulaiman to take a number of strategic measures to solve the problems in food sector.
The President asks the Minister of Trade and Minister of Agriculture to maintain reasonable prices that will bring profit to the farmers but will not make the producers loss, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung said to the journalists after attending a Limited Meeting, at the Presidential Office, Jakarta, on Wednesday (27/1) afternoon.
The President, Pramono added, has asserted not to give huge profit to the middle men because during this time it is them who get huge profit from food prices hike. The middle men are those who stand between the producers and consumers.
The Cabinet Secretary asserted that those middle men should not be underestimated because along this time, they dominate and get much bigger profit than the farmers.
To Maintain the Balance
Meanwhile, Minister of Trade Thomas Lembong said that the President urges to maintain the balance between the producers, consumers, and merchants. Do not let one side unproportionally get bigger profit than others. As has been explained in the introductory remarks, it is not easy but we must try, the Minister said.
He admitted that during this time we really depend on import. Therefore, the modernization of zone policy is expected to be able to loosen, to open other alternatives as source of import diversification, and to create competition among importers.
The Minister also explained that one aspect of the long supply chain is logistic. He expects that the efforts that have been announced by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy can sharpen the competition in goods transport and delivery.
The hike of food prices, particulary the prices of egg, chicken, and meat certainly become the Governments attention and we have set up an internal coordination to solve this problem as soon as possible, the Minister said. (FID/DND/OJI/JAY/ES)(MMB/YM/Naster)