Jakarta – Spicy food sellers in Jakarta are fretting about the future of their business as chili prices in the area have skyrocketed.
According to the Jakarta administration's website for food price information, infopangan.jakarta.go.id, the average price for red bird's eye chili reached Rp 90,326 (US$6.58) per kilogram on Wednesday. The price was even higher on Tuesday evening, as a kilogram of the chili could cost up to Rp 110,556 – similar to beef prices, which were Rp 117,778 per kilogram.
The lowest price of Rp 30,000 per kilogram for red bird's eye chili can be found at Jembatan Lima Market in West Jakarta. On the other hand, the administration recorded the highest price for the commodity, Rp 100,000 per kg, in Cijantung Market in East Jakarta.
Aside from red bird's eye chili, the average prices for other types of chili have also increased. For example, curly red chili is valued at Rp 69,782 per kg while habaneros are priced at Rp 88,260 per kg.
Indonesian Chili Agribusiness Association (AACI) chairman Abdul Hamid said that the skyrocketing prices for chili became a problem during the changes of season. Although the problem persists from year to year, no one had come up with a permanent solution to overcome the rising prices.
"The problem always lies in the farmers' methods since the past," Abdul said on Tuesday, as quoted by kompas.com.
He added that the demand for chili, especially for the bird's eye kind, had been increasing every year since spicy dishes gained more popularity among over the past few years.
However, chili farmers in several regions faced crop failures over the past few months because of the changing climate. "The main cause is climate change. A lot of chili farmers have made mistakes when trying to predict the weather," Abdul said. (dpk)