Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Trade is coordinating with the National Food Agency (Bapanas) and regional governments to encourage the provision of subsidy for freight rates during the 2023 Christmas and 2024 New Year period.

Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan emphasized the importance of taking the step to maintain food availability and stability in prices.

"The freight rate subsidy especially (needs to be given for) shallots and chilies whose harvests are still sporadic in certain centers," Hasan noted in a statement from his ministry here on Tuesday.

According to the minister, chili is currently experiencing a downward trend in prices in various retail markets amid harvest at production centers.

The Ministry of Trade is also ensuring smooth distribution of staple goods during the Christmas and New Year period by collaborating with the Ministry of Transportation and the National Police.

Specifically for commodities whose supplies come from imports, the Ministry of Trade is ensuring import management that is on time and in the right quantities in accordance with coordination between relevant ministries and institutions.

Hasan noted that his ministry is intensifying distribution through the Maritime Outlet program for the eastern Indonesia region.

It is also watching the distribution of staple goods by involving the Food Task Force to prevent attempts of hoarding by business players ahead of and during the Christmas and New Year period.

To maintain food price and supply stability, the Trade Ministry is intensifying monitoring of staple goods' supplies and prices in 679 markets in 503 districts and cities in Indonesia.

The ministry has encouraged cooking oil producers to comply with the Domestic Market Obligation (DMO), with a production share of 40 percent for affordable cooking oil.

It is cooperating with Bapanas and the State Logistics Agency (Bulog) to accelerate the distribution of the Food Supply and Price Stabilization (SPHP) rice and the Cheap Food movement in various regions.

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Translator: Maria Cicilia, Raka Adji
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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