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Jakarta Post

EDITORIAL: Hot chili issue remains hot


    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, March 13, 2017   /  08:20 am
EDITORIAL: Hot chili issue remains hot Red bird-eye chilies are displayed at a market in Jakarta. (Antara/Widodo S. Jusuf)

Every time a wave of steep price hikes hits horticulture, as it has been doing with hot chili over the last three months, the basic issue of Indonesia’s food security resurfaces with a fierce blame game between the ministries and other institutions responsible for farm produce production and distribution. Yet more damaging to the future development of horticulture distribution networks is the involvement of the National Police’s detectives investigating the causes of skyrocketing prices, which last month reached as high as Rp 200,000 (US$15) per kilogram in the East Kalimantan town of Balikpapan, more than three times the normal price for red chili. This is an anomaly because it is usually during the Ramadhan fasting month and Idul Fitri celebrations that the prices of food produce tend to increase sharply. But it was also mindboggling to observe why the price of hot ch...