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Maintain Shallot Price Stability, FIA UB Proposes the Establishment of a Special Coordinating Body

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The government, in this case the Ministry of Agriculture, has made great efforts to maintain shallot production levels and price stability in the market. With various strategies that have been formulated, the government believes the availability of shallots can meet people's needs. However, at some time ago, it was still found that the price of shallots had soared high in several regions, which then continued to other areas. What really happened? And what solution should be taken by the government?

The answers to these two statements emerged in a seminar entitled "Increasing the Efficiency of the Shallot Supply Chain for the Stability of Food Prices". This activity is the fruit of collaboration between the MSME Development Study Group (K2PU) FIA UB and the Directorate General of Horticulture, Ministry of Agriculture, Republic of Indonesia. The Director General of Horticulture Dr. Ir Spudnik Sudjono MM was present on the occasion to explain the strategy and conditions in the field. Meanwhile, the chairman of K2PU, Dr. Kusdi Rahardjo DEA, as the second speaker, conveyed the results of his research which contained solutions that the government needed to pursue. And UB Faculty of Agricultural Technology Lecturer Dr Ir Sutjipto was also present to provide a perspective on food warehousing.

Spudnik Sudjono explained the performance of the Director General of Horticulture

In his remarks, Director General of Horticulture Spudnik Sudjono explained that his party had implemented various strategies so that food prices remained affordable for the community, as well as benefiting farmers. Among the strategies pursued is "Planting Management", namely by implementing strict planting times to maintain food supplies in the future. However, Spudnik found sharp increases in food prices in several areas. From his team's investigation in the field, it was concluded that there were elements who made negative maneuvers to cause the price increase. "We also conveyed the facts on the ground to Bareskrim (Polri, ed.). And after 10 days, the police have succeeded in determining the suspect in the planned crime," explained the alumni of the UB Doctor of Administrative Sciences.

Meanwhile, Head of K2PU FIA UB Kusdi Rahardjo highlighted the length of the shallot supply chain from farmers to consumers. According to Kusdi, the largest control over shallots is in the hands of wholesalers, which can lead to opportunistic behavior. From the results of his study, Kusdi proposed the formation of a new body under the government. Kusdi said the function of this agency is to coordinator the management of the shallot supply chain to the hands of retailers and consumers. "This agency will work with the help of modern information technology, thereby preventing such opportunistic behavior," said the man who is also the Head of the Business Administration Masters Study Program.

In addition, Kusdi highlighted the lack of understanding and awareness of farmers regarding proper planting procedures. Kusdi found that shallot farmers in central areas such as Nganjuk and Probolinggo are more concerned with total weight and ignore the spacing. In fact, spacing that is too close together is the cause of the decline in the quality of shallots, especially for export. "In this case, farmers also use pesticides which result in a decrease in soil quality in the long term," he added.

The activity which was held at the Hotel Royal Orchids Garden, Batu, was seen to be attended by various groups with an interest in shallots. Among them are representatives of East Java agriculture services, East Java trade services, the Ministry of Commerce, the Coordinating Ministry for the Economy, and business actors in the agricultural sector.

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