Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) visited the Wonokromo Market in Surabaya City, East Java, Saturday, to check the stocks and prices of food commodities, such as rice, cooking oil, and eggs.

According to Jokowi, the pricing for rice in the market was quite good, at around Rp9,000 per kilogram, thereby indicating that market operations conducted by the state-owned logistics agency, Bulog, to stabilize rice prices were already underway.

"I want to check the rice (pricing) at Wonokromo market. The Bulog market operation has worked. The rice price here is around Rp44,000 (US$2.9) for five kilograms. That means the price is below Rp9,000 (US$0.59) per kilogram. All merchants in this market have sufficient rice stock," he noted in an official statement received here, Saturday.

Jokowi remarked that several regions had entered the main harvest season that lasts from the end of February to early March.

With this harvest season, the head of state is optimistic of more abundant rice stocks that will in turn affect the price of the commodity in the market.

The president estimates that the national harvest area in February 2023 will reach one million hectares, while in March, he projected it to reach 1.9 million hectares.

"The national harvest area will be around that figure. I think we have abundant rice stock. If the stock is sufficient and the demand is constant, then the price will automatically fall," Jokowi remarked.

During his visit, Jokowi also reviewed the prices of other food commodities, such as cooking oil, at an average price of Rp14,000 (US$0.92) per liter. The prices of eggs and shallots also decreased, albeit not significantly, he noted.

Jokowi expressed optimism that the stability in food prices in the regions would be maintained to control inflation both at the regional and national levels.

"The price of rice last month caused a spike in our inflation. Do not let that happen again. The market operation carried out by Bulog has shown some progress, although it had not reached all regions," he stated.

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Translator: Mentari Dwi G, Resinta S
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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