Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) called on the National Food Agency (NFA) to regulate the mobilization of local farmers' production stocks to maintain price stability and food availability across all regions.

"Earlier, the president urged NFA to mobilize large-scale food stocks. We would arrange the production costs from production centers to deficit areas to be covered," Head of NFA Arif Prasetyo Adi stated after attending a limited internal meeting chaired by President Jokowi at the Presidential Palace, Jakarta, on Monday.

The head of state also called on the NFA to regulate food reserves and focus on commodities that require storage facilities at specific temperatures, Adi noted.

"We will also help to prepare a cold storage room, such as a refrigerator, for some food products. Farmers do not have to deliver the products immediately. There will be a storage to keep the food products," Adi remarked.

The storage facilities are also expected to support efficient utilization of electricity. Hence, these facilities will be required to use solar panels to reduce the cost of electricity needs, he remarked.

On the same occasion, Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan expressed optimism that this step would break the long chain of commodity distribution, with the potential to cause a price spike.

"We hope to break that chain. For instance, there are wholesalers, middlemen, and there are retailers. People were protesting regarding the price of chicken amounting to Rp35 thousand in the market when the price at the farmers' level was only Rp15,500. The gap is Rp20 thousand and was caused by a long distribution chain," he stated.

Earlier, Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo noted that the head of state had also instructed the Ministry of Agriculture, NFA, and Ministry of Trade to conduct mapping of food commodities in all regions.

"Producing areas with surpluses and areas lacking food commodities must really be mapped properly," Limpo emphasized.

The mapping can be achieved through increasing inter-regional trade communication involving governors, mayors, and district heads as well as intervention from the central government through the Ministry of Agriculture, the NFA, and the Ministry of Trade to monitor food availability and stability.

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Translator: Gilang Galiartha, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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