TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Prices often soar ahead of the fasting month of Ramadan due to bad trade regulations, Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman said.
"The root of the problem is the supply and distribution chain. We should improve its trade regulation. For this, we have coordinated with traders and state logistics board Bulog," the minister stated after visiting Kramat Jati Wholesale Market on Monday.
Here, Sulaiman emphasized the need for market innovations to stop price hikes, which take place every year.
One such innovation could be to organize bazaars and coordinate with a number of related ministries, including the Ministry of Trade and Ministry of Transportation, Bulog and the National Police.
He also called for the opening of a pioneer distribution channel to deliver chief food commodities to a number of regions. Distribution should be given priority to ensure that products do not get caught up in queues at ports.
"This coordination should be done through transportation pioneered for the distribution of primary food commodities such as chili, onion, sugar and rice. This should be given priority," the minister emphasized.
Regarding the bazaars, Sulaiman pointed out that they will be held inregions that show signs of impending hikes in food commodity prices, which will also be monitored at the same time.
"We should first monitor it every day. If need be, we should check it twice a day---in the morning and afternoon. The prices of food commodities across the country should always be checked," he remarked.
Currently, the average price of shallots is at Rp28,667 per kilogram; garlic is at Rp16,300 per kilogram; red cayenne pepper is at Rp16,167 per kilogram; and green cayenne pepper is at Rp13,333 per kilogram.
The price of jumbo red chili is Rp20,667 per kilogram and that of curly red chili is Rp18,833 per kilogram.
"The price of rice is also secure. We checked it in the traditional market. Its price is some Rp7,000 to Rp8,000 per kilogram. Basically, the prices ofthese commodities are still stable," the minister affirmed.