It is difficult to decrease the price of primary food. Such a statement is related to what Jokowi said recently to stabilize beef price from 130,000 become 80,000. In Indonesia, this phenomenon always happens every year, especially facing fasting month and Iedul Mubarak which goes up to 27%.
Compare to our neighbor countries (Singapore and Malaysia), the price of staple food is relatively stable. Beef, for instance, can be bought at around Rp. 50,000 which is far cheaper than that of in Indonesia. Because of this, Indonesian government tries to fix the problem by looking for its key. And based on recent observation, causes of soared price are including limited stock and supply and demand.
The number of society completed by wide area of Indonesia influences the quantity of food people need. Consequently, stock of commodities decreases which leads to the increasing of price. To solve this problem, government takes a solution by importing beef from Australia. However, it is argued that it cannot decrease the price become Rp. 80,000, except frozen beef. Of course most society will not interest in such a beef, they prefer to choose fresh beef which is more delicious.
Furthermore, according to Ichsanudin Noorsy, an economic watcher, government cannot handle this problem except if they have big intervention in market. This is because the key of pricing game comes from a ditch (Bandar). Meanwhile, retailers in the traditional markets just sell their commodities based on the price from a ditch. Thus, the last sellers gain little profit, no more than 15 %, while a ditch gains up to 25%.
Today government finally imports 27.400 ton meat to decrease the price become Rp. 50,000 per kilogram. So, all society can enjoy the meat. However, this solution does not satisfy all people. Some argue that government has to have the clear data about stock and demand. So they can manage the price of commodity in market. Another solution to tackle the limited stock of other commodities, such as onion, garlic, sugar, and chili, government is demanded to encourage society to utilize the fields. They have to plant those crops. If this way succeeds, so the need of commodities in fasting month can be met.
Cisompet, 06 June 2016