Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Food Agency (Bapanas) on Monday officially conducted the Cheap Food Movement (GPM) simultaneously across 341 locations in 300 districts and cities to maintain the people's purchasing power ahead of Eid al-Adha.

"The launch of the Cheap Food Movement today is our real action in controlling the food inflation as well as increasing the economic growth of food business players and farmers," Bapanas Head Arief Prasetyo Adi stated here on Monday.

Adi made the statement while delivering his remarks at the inauguration ceremony of the National Simultaneous GPM.

Adi noted that implementation of simultaneous GPM had become the biggest in the world, and the number of locations continues to increase since several districts and cities conduct the cheap food movement for more than a day.

He stated that national inflation in May 2023 stood at four percent (yoy) and continues to decline from the previous period.

Nevertheless, it is still important to remain alert regarding food availability in the face of the potential of El Nino, global geopolitical impacts, supply instability, and high global food prices.

"(This is) one of the efforts that can be made is controlling inflation in the food sector, especially of volatile foods," he remarked.

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To this end, Bapanas is present along with the relevant ministries and institutions and all food stakeholders to tackle food-related challenges one by one, he affirmed.

In the cheap market, several foods are sold at affordable or below-market prices, such as rice, eggs, chilies, shallots, garlic, chicken meat, beef, sugar, cooking oil, and various vegetables and fruits.

At Monday's event, Finance Minister's Expert Staff for State Expenditure Made Arya Wijaya noted that the cheap market is in line with the government's policy to secure food availability and affordability.

Meanwhile, Deputy II for Business and Food Coordination at the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, Musdhalifah Machmud, stated that food commodities have a role in inflation.

In May, shallots, chicken meat, and rice each contributed 0.03 percent to inflation, while fresh fish, eggs, broiler chicken, and garlic each contributed 0.02 percent to inflation.

Hence, she further said, the government must support the community to have access to available foods to meet their food needs.

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Translator: Kuntum Khaira, Raka Adji
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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