Limpo believes smooth distribution would be instrumental in addressing the shortage of some basic necessities in some provinces.
"It is the president's order that all ministries should work jointly to plug the deficit. This means no isolation, locking, and obstacles in food distribution," he stated here on Thursday.
The ministry has worked in coordination with the State Logistics Agency (Bulog) and Trade Ministry to ensure ample supply of 11 essential goods, including rice, meat and chicken, edible oil, egg, garlic, onion, chili, and sugar.
"The government has calculated the food balance. The PSBB (large-scale social restriction) and lockdown in some countries have impacted (food supply), but we ensure the stock is safe," the minister stated.
The minister has called on the public to remain calm and avoid panic buying. On the other hand, traders should not take advantage of such situation by hiking the prices of commodities.
The Agriculture Ministry’s data indicated that as of April, a food deficit was observed in some provinces, including Central Kalimantan, with 10 percent; Bali and West Kalimantan, with 25 percent respectively; and below 25 percent in Sumatra and Riau.
"Following our intervention, where we channel the commodities from surplus regions to deficit regions, the (food balance) in some 28 provinces has improved and is under control. The two provinces of North Kalimantan and Maluku will need greater attention," he noted.
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) had earlier drawn attention to a shortfall in certain basic necessities faced by some Indonesian provinces, with 30 provinces recording a shortage in sugar stocks and 31 provinces reporting a deficit in garlic stocks.
The president stated that a deficit in rice stocks was detected in seven provinces, corn scarcity in 11 provinces, red chili shortage in 23 provinces, chili pepper shortfall in 19 provinces, dearth of shallots in one province, and shortage of eggs in 22 provinces.
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