The price of chilis in Indonesia has recently skyrocketed to over Rp 150,000 per kilogram, causing a great deal of concern among consumers worried about sambal-withdrawal and the government, which is having to deal with increasing complaints and protests over the red-hot issue.
The government has blamed the problem on crop failures and bad weather while attempting market interventions which have done little to bring down the price of the essential spicy commodity.
However, Minister of Agriculture Andi Amran Sulaiman has a simple (some might say simplistic) solution to the chili price problem: starting a movement to have more people grow chilis in their own yards. And by people, he means housewives.
“If mothers can cut down on gossiping for five minutes a day and then use that time to grow five chili plants, then the chili issue will be solved because five plants can fulfill the needs of the household in a few months,” Andi said yesterday as quoted by Antara.
Maybe he has a point. Just Imagine what, say, a government minister could accomplish if they cut down on making embarrassingly sexist suggestions and instead used that time to work on something productive. Like, for example, solving a commodity price crisis.
To be fair, Andi said that his ministry has managed to increase production on 13 other food commodities, a success which he complained has been overshadowed by the chili price crisis.
But he said he was grateful that he had managed come up with his “breakthrough” solution for increasing chili production (by placing the responsibility on millions of Indonesian mothers (who obviously don’t have enough responsibilities as it is, which is probably why they gossip so much) to make up for the Agriculture Ministry’s inability to control the price of the essential commodity).
H/T to journalist Yenni Kwok, who, as she so often does, had the first and best take on this story:
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