Govt urged to crack down on food cartels

Jumat, 08 Februari 2013 | 09:38

The government should crack down on food cartels which allegedly control food prices, stocks and supplies in the country, a researcher of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) said."There have been cartels but the government has not taken any measure yet," Ina Primiana said at a discussion on food cartels here on Thursday.

The cartels could multiply prices, she said.

She said nearly Rp11 trillion of the overall food imports which reached Rp90 trillion had gone to the cartels.

The large sum of money that went to the cartels suggested that the government paid less attention to the interests of the community, farmers in particular, she said.

When food prices went up or food commodities disappeared from the market the government appeared to have ignored the problem, she noted.

"Neither has there been a comprehensive plan to increase the production and quality of food products," she said.

Meanwhile, Kadin Deputy Chairman for Food and Husbandry Industry Juan Permata Adoe said there must be a blue print for the development of food industry in the country.

"From the case of meat imports, we know that food and husbandry industry is no longer small scale," he said.

The government must adopt appropriate measures to increase the competitive edge of local farmers so that they could increase food production, he said.

"There need to be a step that these (food) products must lay a basis for the implementation of industrial development," he said.(*)