The increase in rice prices is increasingly worrying
The price of rice in traditional markets continues to soar. The cheapest price reaches IDR 12,000 per kg.
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JAKARTA, KOMPAS - The price of rice has increased by Rp 2,000 per kilogram in the last two weeks. Currently, the cheapest price for rice reaches 12,000 per kg in traditional markets in South Jakarta. This price hike burdens the community.
Based on monitoring by Kompas in two markets in Pasar Minggu and Pasar Rawajati, South Jakarta, the price of rice has increased rapidly. In these two markets, the cheapest rice price is around IDR 12,000 per kilogram. In fact, the price of premium rice can reach IDR 18,000 per kg.
Ridwan (21), a rice merchant in Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, stated that the high price of rice has made it difficult for him to sell his merchandise. "Although rice is a staple food, now many people are limiting their purchases," said Ridwan, who has been trading there for five years.
Ridwan was forced to raise prices due to the increase in rice prices at the Kramatjati Wholesale Market in East Jakarta. "Honestly, I only make a profit of Rp 40,000 per sack. If I raise the price again, buyers can complain," said Ridwan.
According to Ridwan, this increase in rice prices may be the highest in the past five years. When compared to five years ago, rice prices were still in the range of Rp 7,500 per kg. Now, even finding rice for Rp 10,000 per kg is very difficult. "The price is already high, and it's also difficult to find stock," he said.
Ridwan also heard the news that the rise in the price of rice was due to crop failures in some production centers.
Also read: Stabilizing (Again) Rice Prices
The high price of rice has forced Khosiatin (54), an uduk rice trader in the Tegal Parang area, Pancoran District, South Jakarta, to be forced to reduce the composition of his uduk rice to be able to make a profit.
In one serving of uduk rice priced at IDR 7,000, typically two spoonfuls of rice are used. However, due to the increase in the price of rice, the portion of uduk rice has been halved. They do not want to raise the price for fear of losing customers.
Dyah Nugraha, a resident of Manggarai, is also worried about the increase in the price of rice. She hopes that the government will take prompt action to address this issue.
Data is confusing
Secretary General of the Indonesia Market Traders Association, Reynaldi Sarijowan, stated that the current price of rice has become increasingly uncertain. Based on data from the field, it was found that the price of medium-grade rice has risen to IDR 13,500 per kg, while premium rice has reached IDR 18,500 per kg. There are several factors that have contributed to the soaring price of rice.
Reynaldi believes that the government has not been serious in managing and distributing rice since the 2022 planting season until now. As a result, there is confusion about rice productivity data.
Therefore, it is important to encourage data synchronization between rice distributed to the community, but used for social aid, and rice distributed to market traders. "This policy is crucial to ensure the sustainability of rice in the market can be controlled so that rice prices can be stable," he said.
Reynaldi also urges the government to be more careful with the increase in rice prices and the difficulty in obtaining rice in traditional markets. This is important because Indonesia is currently in a political situation with the upcoming elections season, so many people are getting their rice from sources outside of traditional markets and large producers. "This phenomenon is something that the government must be mindful of in the future," he said.
According to data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) of DKI Jakarta Province, monthly inflation pressure for food components was driven by an increase in the prices of food commodities such as rice. In fact, the main contributor to year-on-year inflation in DKI Jakarta in December 2023 was rice, by 0.274 percent.
In addition, BPS noted that the inflation trend of food component also increased towards the end of the year from 1.39 percent in November 2023 to 1.79 percent in December 2023.
This increase in inflation has caused a decrease in people's purchasing power. The Jakarta Provincial Government is striving to curb inflation due to rising prices, especially for food commodities, by implementing affordable basic food needs programs.
This phenomenon must be guarded by the government in the future.
DKI Jakarta Regional Secretary's Assistant for Economy and Finance Sri Haryati said that rice is the main commodity sold in cheap basic food activities, both in package and retail form. "Through synergy with stakeholders, people can buy food at low prices. One basic food package on the market costs IDR 130,000, people only need to pay IDR 100,000. "The difference will be met from the stakeholders' corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds," he said.
"So, the community continues to buy these basic necessities, and not in the form of social assistance," said Sri Haryati.
The first affordable staple food (Sembako murah) was launched on January 15, 2024 and has been held in 59 locations with a total of 34 partner companies. All citizens can purchase a food package consisting of 5 kg of rice, 2 liters of cooking oil, 1 kg of granulated sugar, and 1 kg of wheat flour for Rp 100,000. "This is expected to curb the rising cost of food," said Sri.
This cheap basic food is different from the social assistance (bansos) provided to residents who have registered in the Integrated Social Welfare Data with a separate mechanism through the central government. The assistance is in the form of 10 kg of rice and is recorded with a clear name and address (by name by address).