Solo, Central Java (ANTARA) - Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan on Sunday distributed rice aid to underprivileged communities during his working visit to Solo Legi Market in Central Java.

The minister attended the market operation held by Surakarta's State Logistic Agency (Bulog) in the market which was aimed at controlling the commodity's price by selling the rice at Rp51 thousand per five-kg bag.

Minister Hasan then bought a total of two tons or 400 bags of rice and handed them over to the underprivileged people in the market for free.

The price of medium rice in the market has reached Rp13,000 per kg, surpassing its ceiling price set by the National Food Agency (Bapanas) at Rp10,900 to Rp11,800 per kg.

Hasan considered the food prices in Legi Market to be cheap, that a kilogram of shallots was sold at Rp18 thousand.

According to him, the cheapest price for shallots should be Rp30 thousand to Rp40 thousand per kg, then it can benefit the farmers.

"Only the price of rice increases. The government is helping the people by advancing the handover of 10 kg of rice for social assistance in September, October, and November for 21.5 million beneficiaries across the country," he added.

Hasan also expressed his gratitude to the Head of Bulog Surakarta, the Deputy Mayor of Surakarta Teguh Prakosa, and all parties who organized the market operation.

"I previously visited Papua, Makassar, Jambi, and Batam, and now I am in Solo, after this Lampung, and keep on going for market operation. I hope the price of rice is no longer increasing and hopefully it can decline," Hasan said.

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Translator: Yoanita Hastryka Djohan
Editor: Sri Haryati
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