Sorong, Southwest Papua (ANTARA) - Deputy Minister of Agriculture Harvick Hasnul Qolbi visited Southwest Papua Province to ensure that supplies and prices of staple foods post-Christmas and ahead of the New Year are safe and affordable.

Qolbi visited the Remu Market in Sorong City on Thursday to inspect the food prices there and pay heed to the people's aspirations.

During his visit to the market, the deputy minister interacted with the community and engaged in discussions about the prices of essential commodities in the market.

Qolbi remarked that he had visited Remu Market to ensure the food prices were affordable, so people could fulfill their needs.

"We are here to check the prices. We hope that the supplies and prices are stable," he stated.

After his visit, Qolbi drew attention to a price hike in several commodities, including chili and chicken.

"It (the price) may increase due to the Christmas season," Qolbi stated.

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The deputy minister also communicated with Acting Governor of Southwest Papua, Muhammad Musa'ad, about the Ministry of Agriculture's policy to strengthen food security in the 38 provinces.

He said that the ministry has a policy to increase the use of rice and corn for chicken feed.

"We expect that chicken feed that is imported from outside the region can be produced here later," he remarked.

He said that the effort to produce chicken feed locally is the government's strategy to boost people's welfare.

He expressed hope that the central government and local governments would focus on observing the prices of staple foods, so people can afford them and to prevent price disparity between farmers and traders.

"(This is) so everyone can benefit and achieve welfare," he remarked.

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Translator: Yuvensius B, Kenzu
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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