To enable low-income Indonesian consumers to access more affordable and quality staple food items, CIPS advocates for policies that break down the barriers for the private sector to openly operate in the food and agriculture sector.
Indeks Bu RT
The Bu RT Index (Indeks Bulanan Rumah Tangga or Monthly Household Expenses Index) measures and tracks how much Indonesians pay for basic food items, compared to consumers in neighboring countries, based on supermarkets price. This comparison aims to show how much Indonesian families would have saved on basic food items, if food prices in Indonesia were as cheap as other countries.
The Index compares cheapest food prices in Indonesia to cheapest prices found in the seven lower-middle and high-income countries Australia, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Philippines, and Thailand. Data is gathered and compared on prices of 15 basic food items started from January until April 2017 including rice, beef, chicken, soybean, eggs, sugar, salt, cooking oil, milk, vegetables (snaps, shallots, spinach), and fruits (banana, apple, orange). Since May 2017, we adjusted with 5 additional basic food items started from May, they are chilies (red and green, big and birds eye) and garlic.
Monitoring food prices is critically important for Indonesia. There are an estimated 28 million Indonesians living under the poverty line, plus an additional 68 million living dangerously close to it, which in total constitutes more than a third of the country’s population. Households in these groups spend 50-70% of their income solely on basic food items; therefore, the slightest movement in food prices will determine how much these people will get to eat.
If food prices become too expensive, poor families are unable to cover their daily nutritional needs. This has serious consequences for Indonesian children; currently 29% of them aged 0-5 years suffer from chronic malnutrition. Malnutrition severely stunts early childhood development, and affects the ability of children to academically perform well and reach higher education levels. In the long term, this means a population with low education and insufficient skills, further perpetuating cycles of poverty in Indonesia.
The Index highlights how much money could have been saved by poor families, which could have been used to buy more food for family members, or used for other life necessities such as education or healthcare expenses. The Index also serves to inform and support government policies that ensure access to affordable quality food for Indonesia’s poor.
For more information about the Index, please send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.