As of last month, the Agriculture Ministry has issued recommendations to import more than 460,000 tons of garlic to ensure sufficient supplies and stabilize soaring prices during the Ramadan and Idul Fitri celebrations, when food demand usually surges.
Between March and May, the government actually needs to procure only around 196,000 tons from overseas to meet demand at home, said Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo. Coupled with domestic production, the ministry estimates there will be a surplus of more than 116,000 tons at the end of May.
Speaking during an online hearing with House of Representatives Commission IV overseeing food and agriculture on April 16, Sharul said the garlic imports were necessary to stabilize prices during Ramadan, which will begin April 23. “With the current stock, we expect it will be under control and safe, god willing, at least until Idul Fitri,” he said.
With garlic prices already soaring since the start of 2020, the ministry is now seeking not only to stabilize prices but also to mitigate the impacts of disruption to the logistics sector caused by the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic.
The average price of garlic rose roughly 30 percent to Rp 44,900 per kilogram from January to March, according to data from the Information Center for Strategic Food Prices (PIHPS), the government’s food price tracker. Thejakartapost.com reported how this is well above President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s preferred price range of between Rp 20,000 and Rp 30,000 per kilogram.
[ Rp100 = €0,0059 ]