Ministry, start-ups to help agri traders hit by coronavirus

Ministry, start-ups to help agri traders hit by coronavirus

An illustration depicting agricultural products. (ANTARA/Reno Esnir/yas)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Agriculture Ministry is working with start-ups to support suppliers and traders of agricultural products, especially vegetables and fruits, who have been hit hard by order cancellations in wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the number of suppliers and traders selling agricultural products in traditional markets or supermarkets since many buyers and customers have canceled their orders, said the director of Horticultural Products Processing and Marketing at the ministry, Taufik Yazid, on Friday.

Most of the cancellations have come from sluggish hotels and restaurant businesses, who have also suffered on account of events and meetings being called off due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Yazid explained.

"Some online agricultural shops, such as Sayur Box, Tani Hub, Kedai Sayur, as well as several retailers will help market the suppliers' horticultural products," he said.

In wake of the coronavirus outbreak, most customers are opting to buy food, including fruits and vegetables, via online shops offering home deliveries instead of going to traditional markets or supermarkets, he noted.

This change in the way people are shopping has had a negative impact on suppliers and sellers of agricultural products, but it has been an advantage for online food sellers, he added.

Earlier, Cecep Wahyudin, CEO and founder of online agricultural products store Etanee, had said the implementation of the central government's work-from-home policy, aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19, has led to a sharp increase in purchases of agricultural products on the Etanee food marketplace.

"Since the work-from-home policy was enforced, it has succeeded in limiting communities' activities. On the other hand, the purchase of agricultural products has increased sharply,” said Wahyudin.

According to Wahyudin, Etanee's turnover has quadrupled compared to earlier. (INE)

Related news: COVID-19: Indonesians urged to delay annual tradition of 'mudik'
Related news: Accidents decline 10% in Jakarta as people work from home
Related news: Drone deployed to disinfect Surabaya's Gunung Anyar area