Saturday, January 15, 2011
You know your country's in trouble when...
Possibly the most amusing story about inflation I've read in a while.
Indonesia's president called on households to plant food in their gardens in an effort to head off inflation, with the country's trade minister leading the way by chilli farming at home.

'I have 200 chilli plants in flower pots,' said Mari Pangestu at a briefing today. 'The agriculture ministry is informing farmers how to take care of the plant, and also encouraging consumers to plant chilli in their own yard.'

Chilli prices surged five-fold in Indonesia in the past year to around 100,000 rupiah (US$11) a kilo, more than beef, hurting households fond of spicy cuisine in an archipelago where logistical problems and wet weather often add to costs.

Together with rising rice prices, red chillies helped lead annual inflation to a 20-month high in December near 7 percent.

'Households should be creative to plant plants,' said President Susilo Yudhoyono Bambang at a Cabinet meeting today to discuss stabilising food prices.

Global food prices hit a record last month, outstripping levels that prompted riots in 2008, and key grains could climb even further as weather patterns give cause for concern, the United Nations food agency said on Wednesday.

The Indonesian government has already decided to import 1.3 million tonnes of rice from Thailand and Vietnam ahead of the local harvest in February, after not importing it in the past two years, but policymakers fret about the cost of spicing up the staple.

'You can't eat without fresh ground chillies,' said Rusman Heriawan, the head of the state's statistics agency that measures monthly inflation. 'We need to improve the supply.'

TAGS: economics humour
posted by Hong at 5:48 pm | Permalink |