"We have decided to import slaughter cattle in order to overcome and increase supplies and scale down prices. We hope it will arrive at the end of this month," Suswono said after attending a coordination meeting on food at the office of the chief economic minister here on Wednesday.
The minister said that the volume of cattle that would be imported would be adjusted to the difference in the shortage of supplies. He said that Jakarta for example needed some 50,000 tons of beef per annum or 4,000 tons per month.
"I hope the price of beef would drop to the normal level at Rp75,000 per kg if the imported one already arrives," the minister said.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono admitted on Saturday he lost patience with his ministers` efforts to lower the skyrocketing beef price ahead of the Muslim holiday of Lebaran and wanted to see a change in a few days.
"I think my instruction is quite clear, and so is the vice president`s. The coordinating minister for economic affairs has chaired several meetings but the implementation (of their decision) is very slow. Frankly speaking, I lose my patience as the people do," he said.
In response to the skyrocketing beef price which hit a record high of above Rp90,000 a kg in several parts of the country, the President on Saturday called a meeting with a number of relevant ministers at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport here upon his arrival from a visit to West Nusa Tenggara province.
"This meeting must be action-oriented. I want to see a change in the next few days. We want to set a target we must achieve," he said while asking his ministers to monitor the beef price in the market and on the social media.