Jakarta (ANTARA) - Nearly 60 thousand tons of garlic imported from China landed at Tanjung Perak Port, Surabaya, East Java, and Tanjung Priok Port, Jakarta, to ensure the commodity's supply suffices during Ramadan fasting month and Eid al-Fitr.

Director of Horticulture and Herbs of the Agriculture Ministry Moh Ismail Wahab remarked that the consignment was part of the total 115,675 tons of imports for which the Trade Ministry had given its consent.

"The imports of garlic will be a top priority to ascertain sufficient supplies during the fasting month and Eid al-Fitr," Wahab remarked here on Friday.

Wahab expressed belief that the supply of garlic in domestic markets will normalize following the arrival of the imported commodity on May 2-6 under the first phase.

The ministry pointed out that the nationwide monthly garlic consumption touched 42 thousand tons.

The ministry has issued a garlic import recommendation to 19 firms meeting the requirements for cultivating the commodity.

"We have a mechanism in place to import garlic, and concurrently, we are promoting its domestic cultivation. We are optimistic that by 2021, we will no longer depend on imports to cater to our demand for garlic," he stated.

In the meantime, Director for Horticulture Processing and Marketing Yasid Taufik noted that the ministry had streamlined the trade mechanism for garlic, as 97 percent of the supply was yet imported.

Until March 2019, the ministry had issued an import recommendation followed by the issuance of the Trade Ministry's import license to bring in 115 thousand tons of garlic.

"Until now, we have issued a recommendation for importing 240 thousand tons of garlic. Garlic supplies will continue to trickle in from this May. We guarantee adequate supply of garlic in the subsequent six months," Taufik noted.

The price of garlic in Jakarta's retail market ranged between Rp55 thousand and Rp65 thousand per kg, while at the Kramat Jati wholesale market, the price had reached Rp45 thousand per kg.

The agriculture and trade ministries launched market operations in some regions in a bid to curtail a hike in the price of the commodity by setting the selling price at Rp15 thousand to Rp23 thousand per kg.

Translator: Mentari Dwi G, Sri Haryati
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
Copyright © ANTARA 2019