As fasting month approaches, Jakarta faces beef shortage
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Governor Fauzi Bowo said on Monday that some residents might have to switch their diet from beef to chicken during this year’s fasting month should the central government ignore the administration’s request that the city’s quota of imported meat be raised.
The governor said that the city might face a shortage of beef supply due to insufficient supply of local cattle and the small beef quota imposed by the Agriculture Ministry.
To ensure the sufficiency of beef supply during the holy month, Fauzi said that he had recently sent a letter to the Agriculture Ministry, asking for an additional quota on top of the 8,300 tons of quota for this semester. The ministry had not yet responded to the letter, according to him.
“The only thing I can do now is to urge consumers to switch to chicken temporarily. But it doesn’t mean that we won’t attempt to maintain the sufficiency of beef supply [during Ramadhan],” Fauzi told reporters on the sidelines of a regional meeting of the Jakarta branch of the Indonesian Young Entrepreneurs Association (Hipmi Jaya) in Jakarta on Monday.
It is reported that the city currently has beef supply of 5,950 tons stocked at distributors’ and importers’ warehouses.
If there is a beef supply shortage during Ramadhan, then beef prices may soar up to Rp 200,000 (US$21.2) per kilogram, according to City Meat Committee chairman Sarman Simanjorang. At the moment, beef prices have begun to rise, reaching Rp 75,000 per kilogram.
“Actually, this semester’s import quota of 8,300 tons is now on its way to Indonesia. But if there is no additional quota, then I’m afraid importers will hold back their supply and sell it little by little,” Sarman said.
The committee estimated that the demand for beef during Ramadhan could reach 15,000 tons as meat suppliers saw a threefold increase in demand every year during the fasting month ahead of the Idul Fitri holiday, especially from hotels, restaurants, cafes and catering businesses.
City owned slaughterhouse PD Dharma Jaya president director Zainuddin, said that Jakartans needed 600 tons of beef per day, but that figure could increase to 1,200 tons per day during the fasting month.
To anticipate the surge in demand, the meat buffer stock company will receive 400 tons of imported beef from the quota from the central government. He admitted that the company should not receive the quota for the imported beef but it had to ask the government to give it some of the quota because it would not be able to meet the demand.
The company has also bought 4,000 live cattle from Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, due to arrive next week, said Zainuddin.
The Jakarta chapter of the Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), however, said that they had not experienced any shortage of supply nor expected it to happen in the near future. “As of today, I haven’t received any complaints from either suppliers or restaurants,” the chairman of PHRIs Jakarta chapter, Krishnadi said.
“Besides, the central government has announced the imports limitation since last year, so we have enough time to secure enough supply for the upcoming Ramadhan,” he said. (han)