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BI, government upgrade online food price center

Bank Indonesia (BI) and the government have upgraded an online-based national data center for food prices as part of wiser efforts to manage the country’s inflation rate, which is often triggered by the volatile prices of several major food commodities.

The website, named “Information Center for Strategic Food Prices” (PIHPS), offers updated data on 10 major food commodities, such as rice, garlic, onion, beef and sugar, obtained daily from 164 traditional markets in 82 cities across the country.

The central bank and the government upgraded the existing website, www.hargapangan.id, into a more updated database and its app can be downloaded free on smartphones.

“With wider public access to information on food prices, we hope the volatility [of prices] can be gradually reduced,” BI governor Agus Martowardojo said in his speech during the data center’s launch on Monday.

The upgrade was based on President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s instruction during his visit to the nation’s center of onion production in Brebes, Central Java, last year on the need to build a comprehensive national database on food prices to combat cartels and manage inflation.

Going forward, BI and the government plan to develop a website in 2018 by adding data at the level of producers, wholesalers and modern retailers, and a feature that will enable the public to participate in monitoring food prices at their local areas. (bbn)

Source: Jakarta Post