Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Home Affairs Tito Karnavian has been consuming corn and sweet potatoes as alternative staple foods to promote food diversification in a bid to cut the people's reliance on rice.

"For the past few weeks, Mr. Home Affairs Minister has also been consuming corn and sweet potatoes," Acting Head of the Home Affairs Ministry's Information Center, Yudia Ramli, told the media in Jakarta on Friday (October 6).

Hence, food diversification is a crucial measure for enabling us to break free from reliance on certain foods, he noted.

According to Ramli, Minister Karnavian's push for food diversification was intended to help people reduce their reliance on certain commodities, especially amid the worldwide heat phenomenon El Nino.

He said the minister believed that it is necessary to encourage all parties to make various efforts to escape such a reliance in the hopes of stabilizing the prices of all commodities.

Rice does contain carbohydrates, but it should be noted that Indonesia has numerous alternative commodities that can serve as sources of carbohydrates for the nation, Ramli stated.

Hence, he noted that Minister Karnavian had been pressing for conducting food diversification, with the end goal of helping the nation break free from reliance on certain food commodities.

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The people can opt for several substitutes for rice, such as sago, taro, potatoes, and breadfruit, which are considered as healthy foods, he elaborated.

Furthermore, Ramli noted that the government has been investing efforts to control the prices of rice at home, including by implementing the Cheap Food Movement and holding cheap market operations.

He also reiterated that the government has committed to securing sufficient stocks of rice for the people through various measures, such as imports and absorbing the harvests of domestic farmers.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has been routinely holding weekly coordination meetings with related ministries, agencies, and regional governments to discuss measures for controlling the inflation rate, he remarked.

By conducting such a meeting, the home affairs minister can get first-hand updates on the latest trends of inflation as well as on which commodities are causal to inflation, he remarked.

"During the meetings, the central and regional governments also collaborated to find solutions to resolve issues related to the prices of rice," Ramli explained.

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Translator: Abdu F, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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