Agriculture Minister warns of food product cartel

Rabu, 27 Maret 2013 | 14:29


Agriculture Minister Suswono has warned of food and horticultural product cartel, citing their unfairly high prices in the domestic market."How can the products which are very cheap in the countries of origin be sold to consumers at unfairly high prices?" he said here on Tuesday.

The practice indicates a violation of business ethics, he said.

"A lack of supplies must not be made an excuse to raise the prices by many folds," he said.

It is likely that the cartel alleged by the Business Competition Supervisory Committee (KPPU) and the National Economic Committee (KEN) is true, he said.

"Admittedly, this must be investigated more profoundly to prevent businessmen from capitalizing on the situation to reap as much profit as possible at the cost of consumers," he said.

Farmers have by thus far not enjoyed the good and high prices of farm commodities, he noted.

Citing an example, he said when the price of red chilis fetched Rp100 thousand a kg, the price of the commodity was only Rp20 thousand at farmer level.

"In my view, the trading system must be improved and that is the authority of the Trade Ministry. Our duties are how to increase the productivity of farmers so they can enjoy fair, favorable and stable prices," he said.

This is important to encourage farmers to grow food crops, thereby supporting national food security and reducing the country`s dependence on imports, he said. ***3***

Reporting by Risbiani Fardaniah, editing by Suharto

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