Bogor City (ANTARA) - Minister of Trade Zukifli Hasan, on Monday, visited the Kebon Kembang Market in Bogor City, West Java Province, to inspect the prices of basic commodities.

Based on his review of blocks C and D of the market, Hasan revealed that the prices of rice, chili, and shallots had declined. However, chicken and eggs are still being sold at relatively high prices.

"Thank God, the prices of rice have begun to go down. What makes me happy is the fact that the prices have decreased by almost Rp1 thousand (US$0.6) per kilogram. Hence, rice is offered for Rp15-17 thousand (US$ 0.95-1.08) per kilogram," he remarked.

He expressed hope that farmers in the regions would soon enter the great harvesting period this month, so that the prices of domestic rice will go back to the normal levels.

The minister further remarked that the government had taken measures to stabilize rice prices, including by pushing state-run logistics company Bulog to intensify the distribution of rice stocks allocated for the Food Supply and Price Stabilization (SPHP) program.

"The prices of SPHP rice distributed by Bulog have been stable," he pointed out.

He then spoke of the prices of chili that had declined over the week, from Rp100 thousand (US$6.37) to Rp60 thousand (US$3.82) per kilogram.

"The prices (of chili) have almost reached the normal level," he remarked.

Accompanying Hasan during the inspection, Bogor Mayor Dedie A. Rachim affirmed that the Kebon Kembang Market still stores ample stocks of rice.

Regarding the decline in chili prices, he expressed hope that the upcoming harvesting period would prevent the prices from once again crossing Rp60 thousand per kilogram.

"Hopefully, we will soon enter the great harvesting period that is expected to make the prices stable at Rp60 thousand," he stated.

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Translator: Shabrina Z, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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