Indonesian people love spicy and fiery food. Chilli is Indonesian staple food in addition to rice making chilli one of the most important agricultural commodities in Indonesia. Its price fluctuation is said to significantly affect change in the inflation rates. As in any markets, the fluctuation can be affected by both demand and supply sides. From the supply side, chili crops that require decent dry weather before harvesting caused high prices in early 2011 due to unusual heavy rainfall during the dry season. From the demand side, food prices including chilli typically rise ahead of and during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadhan. To control the inflation rates, government assistance to help farmers deal with this climatic change is crucial in addition to (temporary) trade policy such as imports.
Indonesia’s growing supermarket channels should have also been part of these solutions. On 18 October 2011 at PPIA (Indonesian student association) academic workshop, Sahara, a PhD candidate of School of Agriculture, Food and Wine at the University of Adelaide and Lecturer at Bogor Agricultural University in Indonesia, discussed various determinants of Indonesian chilli farmers’ participation at supermarket channels and how the participation affects their income. The workshop was well-attended by Indonesian students and researchers currently residing in Adelaide, South Australia.