REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, SURABAYA - The government will guarantee the availability of food stocks, as well as ensure their prices remain reasonable during the post-fasting Eid al Fitr festival, a minister said. "We can guarantee that the stocks of basic food commodities would be adequate and their prices would be stable during the Lebaran festivity," Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan said on Wednesday.
The minister was in Surabaya to conduct a surprise inspection of the Wonokromo traditional market here. He said the price of essential commodities remains relatively stable.
He noted that the increase only took place with beef, which had increased by 14 percent. The price of beef has risen from 70,000 IDR to 80,000 IDR per kg. Unlike those of other commodities, such as eggs and chicken meat, whose prices remained stable until mid-fasting month.
Wirjawan called on the public not to panic regarding rumors that commodity prices would increase prior to the Lebaran festivity which fall next Sunday and Monday.
Last week, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono warned that the negative impact of climate change posed a serious threat to the country`s food security. He said that data provided by several international bodies indicates that climate change has had a negative impact on food production, and that all concerned parties should assess the consequences of this impact on the country`s food availability and security.
While speaking at a coordination meeting on agriculture and food security at the Ministry of Agriculture on Monday, the President said that all stakeholders should foresee a decrease in food availability as a result of climate change.
"Our biggest challenge is that climate change, coupled with a long spell of drought, can raise global food prices. Therefore, we need to take steps to improve our food security and self-sufficiency," he said.
President Yudhoyono said he hoped that in the future Indonesia would be able to gain self-sufficiency not only in rice, but also in meat, maize, and soybean.
"Our target is to have a rice surplus of 10 million tons by 2014, as well as self-sufficiency in rice, maize, sugar, meat, and soybean," he added.
The coordination meeting, which was chaired by the President, focused on the progress of the food program and agriculture in relation to the government`s action plan.
The meeting was also attended by Vice President Boediono, Coordinating minister for Economy Hatta Rajasa, Coordinating minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto, Coordinating minister for People`s Welfare Agung Laksono, Agriculture minister Suswono, Trade minister Gita Wirjawan, and several other officials.