Jakarta (ANTARA) - Social Affairs Minister Tri Rismaharini (Risma) clarified that the purchase of eggs from farmers for social aid and e-warongs (electronic staple kiosks) was not the duty of the Ministry of Social Affairs.

"The duty of buying eggs is not the ministry's job. It will be viewed as me utilizing the budget improperly," Risma noted in her written statement regarding her meeting with representatives of the National People's Chicken Farmers Association (PPRN) here on Monday.

She expounded that the ministry's food aid program was in contrast with the non-cash food assistance (BPNT)/essential commodities card through the e-warong network, as its mechanism had its own rules and was not formulated by the Ministry of Social Affairs.

"E-warong has its own policies. You can read and learn about their guidelines," she noted.

Risma is optimistic that farmers would understand the condition. Hence, they were directed to read the e-warong guidelines accessible through official government websites.

The minister also warned that if assistance funds were received by the beneficiaries, they cannot be compelled to be spent on eggs. It becomes the right of the beneficiaries according to their needs, she emphasized.

She also noted that in some regions, such as Papua, they no longer purchased eggs from Java since the community there can raise their own chicken and meet their needs.

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Risma expressed hope that the farmers would be able to find other alternatives to market their eggs, and one of the suggested alternatives was to explore the needs of the food and pastry industry.

"I was called by the president regarding this condition. I explained that people in Papua were able to farm, so they no longer require (eggs) from other regions," she said.

Meanwhile, PPRN's manager, Yessy Yuni, was satisfied with Risma's explanation and other farmers will be edified about it.

"Her explanation was very detailed. Thank you Mrs. Minister for welcoming us. We will share the information with our friends," Yuni added.

Yuni also highlighted her intent to follow up and communicate with relevant ministries relating to the policy of e-warong or social aid programs. Related news: RI govt to double people`s chicken, egg consumption

Translator: Devi R, Kenzu T
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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