The Cheap Food Movement to Stabilize Rice Prices Deserves Appreciation
The Indonesian Minister of Home Affairs (Mendagri), Muhammad Tito Karnavian asked the Regional Government (Pemda) to hold a Cheap Food Movement in the face of rising prices for various commodities, including the price of rice.
In an effort to reduce the increase in rice prices, the Central Government has assigned the Logistics Agency (Bulog) to distribute SPHP rice at a selling price in accordance with the Highest Retail Price (HET) at the consumer level as well as implementing the Cheap Food Movement in collaboration with the Regional Government to provide food at affordable prices. which is more affordable.
He said that the Regional Government could utilize the Regional Revenue and Expenditure Budget (APBD) and Unexpected Expenditures (BTT) to carry out the program. If in doubt about using the BTT funds, the Regional Government can coordinate with the District Prosecutor’s Office in their respective regions to obtain an explanation. Plus, regional governments can also invite wealthy communities and companies to support the program.
Tito Karnavian added that the regional government could utilize the deconcentration funds provided by the National Food Agency (Bapanas) to all provinces to realize this movement. This fund is a form of support from the Central Government through Bapanas so that each region can intervene to control inflation, especially regarding food prices.
The Minister of Home Affairs also directed the Secretary General (Sekjen) of the Ministry of Home Affairs to realize this in provinces where deconcentration funds are still low. His party saw that there were still 16 provinces where the realization of deconcentration funds was low, namely from the IDR 142 billion provided, but only around 2.71 percent of the budget had just been realized.
On the other hand, the Minister of Home Affairs also asked the Regional Government to regularly coordinate with the local Logistics Agency (Bulog) regarding rice reserve stocks so that there are steps to control inflation. Moreover, the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, has asked Bulog to immediately distribute rice to markets to reduce inflationary price increases.
In this Cheap Food Movement, the Central Government has provided more than 500 packages of 5 kg SPHP Bulog rice at a selling price below the HET. Mendah Zulkifli Hasan added that the public does not need to worry about the price and stock of rice because currently the rice supply in Bulog is already 1.6 million tons and there will be an addition of around 400 thousand tons.
In order to stabilize food supply and prices, the Mataram City Government (Pemkot), NTB Province is holding Cheap Food Movement activities as an effort to control inflation in 2023.
Head of the Food Distribution and Reserves Division of the Mataram City Food Security Service (DKP), Apriadi, said that as an inflation barometer area, Mataram City is an area that is sensitive to fluctuations in food prices, so it is necessary to carry out massive Cheap Food Movement activities.
To optimize the implementation of the Cheap Food Movement, the Food Security Service involves stakeholders such as Bank Indonesia (BI), other food business actors, as well as related agencies/agencies to be involved in the success of the movement. This step deserves appreciation, because this activity can help bring people closer to getting basic needs at affordable prices.
Some of the basic necessities sold at the Cheap Food Movement include medium rice at a price of IDR 10,900/kg, cooking oil IDR 14,000/liter, granulated sugar IDR 14,000-IDR 15,000/kg, and purebred chicken eggs IDR 48,000-IDR 55 ,000/30 items.
Meanwhile, the Central Java Provincial Government (Pemprov) is also holding a Cheap Food Movement in Kudus Regency to help people in the local area to obtain food at cheaper prices compared to market prices. All commodities including rice are sold at cheaper prices because of transportation assistance from the Central Java Provincial Government amounting to IDR 2,000/kg.
Head of the Central Java Province Food Security Service, Dyah Lukisari, hopes that with the Cheap Food Movement, a number of commodity prices that previously experienced increases can decrease, and price inflation can also be well controlled. The target of this movement is factory workers who have quite a large number or are labor intensive. One of them is the Kudus Sukun cigarette factory.
Dyah Lukisari added that it is hoped that similar activities can continue because they provide significant benefits to local communities in order to maintain a more stable food supply and rice prices. Apart from that, this activity is also part of the Government’s efforts to improve community welfare so that it is worthy of being a sustainable activity.
The public is asked not to have excessive fear about the lack of rice food stocks and rice prices which are predicted to continue to rise until the end of 2023, because the Government is still working to stabilize rice prices in various regions in Indonesia.
In the future, it is hoped that the Government can continue to carry out various efforts to reduce the price of rice on a larger scale so as to help people in remote areas get basic daily needs, including rice.
The Cheap Food Movement which is being held by the Government through Regional Governments throughout Indonesia is also expected to be a solution to the rice price inflation that is occurring so that it does not give rise to prolonged social or national economic conflicts in the future, such as disrupted public services, inflation, increasing poverty rates, as well as disruption of security and social stability.