Jakarta (ANTARA) - Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan stated that Indonesia must have a chili-planting system that is not affected by weather to prevent crop failure.

“It is common for chili (prices to increase) because we have yet to have a system of planting chili in greenhouses," he said her Sunday.

Hasan said planting chili in greenhouses might have been implemented by some people but most of the chili-growing methods applied in the country still depend on season or weather.

Hasan underscored that crop failure can cause chili prices to skyrocket in several areas. This is because the high demand is not met by adequate stocks.

"If the rainfall is continuous and heavy, the harvest fails. If the chili harvest is low while its demand remains high, the prices will go up," he said.

Hasan expressed hope that the Ministry of Agriculture or other relevant government agencies can develop a weather-resistant agriculture system, especially for chilies.

Regarding the availability of staple goods during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and ahead of Eid al-Fitr, he said the stocks remain safe and their prices are relatively stable.

The prices of chicken eggs, for instance, stood at between Rp29 thousand (around US$1.85) and Rp31 thousand (around US$1.98) per kilogram.

The price of corn for feed was recorded at Rp5 thousand (around US$0.32) per kilogram, while chicken meat prices were in the range of Rp39 thousand (around US$2.49) to Rp40 thousand (around US$2.56) per kilogram.

The availability of rice at traditional markets is also safe and the prices are stable, he said.

The Food Supply and Price Stabilization (SPHP) rice is available with a retail price ceiling of Rp11 thousand (around US$0.70) per kilogram while the premium-quality rice is sold with a retail price ceiling of Rp14 thousand (around US$0.89) per kilogram.

Hasan said the rice provided by the government, namely Bulog's (State Logistics Agency), has a good quality while the SPHP rice is sold at Rp11 thousand, and Bulog's premium-quality rice is sold at Rp14 thousand per kilogram.

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," he added.

Translator: Maria Cicilia, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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