Agriculture Ministry Says PSBB Hinders Food Distribution

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo launches yet another market operation by sending cars carrying food stock to ten markets in Jakarta from Toko Tani Indonesia Center (TTIC), Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, Thursday (19/3). TEMPO

    Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo launches yet another market operation by sending cars carrying food stock to ten markets in Jakarta from Toko Tani Indonesia Center (TTIC), Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, Thursday (19/3). TEMPO

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe head of the Agriculture Ministry's Food Security Agency, Agung Hendriadi, said that the enforcement of the large-scale social restrictions or PSBB during the COVID-19 pandemic had obstructed the food distribution. 

    “Many regions now enforce PSBB, this doesn’t mean I reject it, but the logistics is highly affected,” said Agung during an online discussion on Monday, April 20, explaining that the government was striving to intervene in the distribution in a bid to ensure an adequate supply of food across Indonesian regions.

    Agung reiterated that the intervention was necessary considering the availability and the distribution of food would affect the people’s purchasing power and consumption patterns in the archipelago.

    For example, he added, the need for horticultural vegetables in Jakarta was affected by the distribution. “The supply to Kramat Jati Central Market decreases by 20-30 percent. This becomes our concern,” Agung said.

    On a different occasion, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo demanded all of his staffers ensure the national food stock for the upcoming fasting month Ramadan amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

    “Make sure our country has enough food stock as we enter Ramadan,” said Jokowi during a meeting today, April 20. He also called on regional administrations not to close road access for logistics distributions.

    CAESAR AKBAR | ANTARA