TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo has promised that prices of staples such as sugar and garlic, which in the past month has skyrocketed, will stabilize ahead of Ramadan in the coming month.
"For sugar, I received a report from the Minister of Agriculture that it will go down to normal conditions next week, which is Rp12,500 / kg. We expect garlic next week or hopefully this week, to return to normal at Rp20,000-30,000/ kg," Jokowi said when opening a limited meeting via video conference from the Presidential Palace, Bogor, on Thursday, April 2, 2020.
Referring to data from the National Strategic Food Price Information Center (PIHPS), a number of staples have experienced a price increase during this month. The average price of red chili in traditional markets has reached Rp50,850, a 27 percent increase compared to prices on March 3, 2020.
Similarly, another staple that has also experienced a great surge in price is sugar. The average price of local sugar in all traditional markets in the country now reaches Rp18,450, a 23.4 percent increase compared to the prices on March 3. On top of that, the price of shallots has also risen up to Rp40,700/ kg. On the other hand, the price of garlic in the country still remains in the range of Rp45,000/ kg.
"We hope that next week everything will be normal and we must ensure that the logistics in distribution will be smooth, so that (food) staples are available in the markets," Jokowi said.
According to Jokowi, there has been a disruption in the distribution of staples due to road closure in several areas as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
"I hope that the Minister of Home Affairs would warn the regions that blocked the road in their area, so that the logistics distribution will not be disrupted. I have reports from 3 regions, rice is disrupted because the road is closed. Please let the regional heads be informed of this," Jokowi added.
DEWI NURITA | DIO SUHENDA (INTERN TRANSLATOR)