Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has urged ministers to pay close attention to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warning about potential shortages, or even a world food crisis, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The President, during a Monday video conference from the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, instructed Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian to remind each regional head to maintain the availability of basic commodities.

"This is a warning from the FAO that we are really paying attention, and we underline the warning that the COVID-19 pandemic could have an impact on world food scarcity or a world food crisis," the President said, during the video conference with the Covid-19 Task Force Team Report.

Each regional head, the president noted, needs to safeguard each region’s food needs for the next few months.

As a result, the scarcity of staples can be avoided, with no drastic increases in food prices.

Referring to the official website of the FAO, pressure in the food supply chain due to COVID-19 is still minimal. However, there are challenges ahead in the logistics flow. This is also because the distribution of food needs to operate without restrictions, and in accordance with existing food safety standards.

To reduce the impact of the pandemic on food and agriculture, the FAO called upon countries throughout the world to meet the food needs of vulnerable populations.

Additionally, countries need to improve social protection programs, maintain the flow of global food trade, keep intact domestic supply chains, and support the ability of small farmers to increase food production.
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Translator: Indra Arief, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Suharto
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