NFA offers to help mobilize food to regions facing shortages

NFA offers to help mobilize food to regions facing shortages

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Bogor, W Java (ANTARA) – The National Food Agency (NFA) has asked the heads of regional administrations to contact the agency if they require assistance mobilizing food stocks to maintain the availability of food and stabilize prices.

Speaking to ANTARA here on Saturday, NFA head Arief Prasetyo Adi expressed his appreciation for regional governments that have mobilized interprovincial food stocks to halt a rise in prices and the inflation rate.

“If the prices of food commodities are controlled, the target to reduce the inflation rate in November can be achieved as in October,” he said, adding that in October, the inflation rate stood at 5.71 percent or down 0.25 percent compared to September.

The mobilization of food stocks from regions with a food surplus to those with a deficit could prove effective in maintaining stocks and stabilizing the prices of food commodities, especially in the outermost and frontier regions, he said.

According to Adi, the mobilization of food stocks will be continued and intensified in the future. To this end, he urged the heads of regional administrations to coordinate with the NFA.

The coordination is vital to determine whether the regions need supplies of strategic food commodities owing to scarcity that may have triggered a rise in the inflation rate there, he explained.

Adi said he had highlighted the importance of information transparency and the need for communicating issues related to regional food stocks to the NFA during a limited coordination meeting on Friday.

Related news: Jokowi urges NFA to mobilize farmers’ production stocks

The coordination meeting was joined by representatives from the central inflation control teams (TPID) from Sulawesi, Kalimantan, Papua, and Maluku, and the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs. It was held in Pontianak, West Kalimantan province.

The representatives of 15 provinces also joined the meeting, he informed.

“The NFA’s deputy for handling food availability and stabilization also joined our meeting. If you have problems with stocks, we can facilitate the mobilization of stocks from the surplus regions to deficit ones,” he reiterated.

“As of November 25, 2022, the NFA has facilitated the mobilization of five thousand tons of several staple foods from the surplus regions to deficit ones,” he added.

The food commodities that have been mobilized include rice, onions, red bird’s eye chilies, corn, live birds, poultry meat, cooking oil, and sugar, Adi said.

Corn has become the most dominant food commodity mobilized by the agency. The total volume of corn that has been mobilized has been recorded at 3,500 tons, he added.

The mobilization has been carried out based on a business-to-business mechanism thanks to the good synergy between the NFA, regional governments, businesses, as well as associations of farmers and breeders, Adi said.

The mobilization of food commodities is relevant to the findings of a recent study conducted by the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, he added.

Related news: Minister ensures sufficient food stocks in Indonesia until 2022-end

The study has revealed that efforts to control inflation in Indonesia’s outmost and frontier regions are closely tied to the smoothness of distribution and the availability of infrastructure and supplies.

Therefore, the main factors impeding efforts to control the inflation rate in the outermost, frontier, and border regions must be seriously addressed, Adi said.

“To increase the interprovincial distributions of food commodities, we continue to communicate with the Transportation Ministry about how to optimize the ‘Tol Laut’ (maritime highway) Program,” he added.

In this regard, an inventory of potential food commodities that can be sent to the outermost, frontier, and border regions has been prepared.

Freighters serving the government’s “Tol Laut” Program could carry the regions’ local food products on their way back to home ports after having transported the food stocks there, he added.

The NFA was formed on the basis of Presidential Regulation No. 66 of 2021 as part of the government’s efforts to help stabilize staple food supplies in Indonesia.

The agency has the authority to regulate staple foods such as rice, soybeans, eggs, corn, onions and shallots, sugar, chilis, bovine meat, and poultry meat.

Related news: Food supply stability can control inflation: Finance Ministry

Related news: Govt supports food distribution from food-surplus to deficit regions

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