Update from Indonesia – Planes Grounded, Food Prices Rise
By Richard Gutierrez - April 25, 2020
National Travel Restriction. A day after the start of Ramadan, the Indonesian government announced the restriction on all passenger travel starting April 24 and extending to June 1. Both international and domestic flights are grounded. Rail travel is suspended on the island of Java. The measure was taken in anticipation of the mass exodus tradition celebrated during the Islamic holiday Idul-Fitri, which comes right after Ramadan. The exodus tradition locally known as “mudik” or “pulang kampung”, which translates to going back home, is observed by millions of Indonesians. The concern over COVID-19 spreading due to “mudik” prompted the government’s decision.
The widespread travel restriction will cause further disruption to the gold supply chain Indonesia. Buyers from big cities , i.e. Jakarta, will now face difficulties to travel and buy gold in the mining areas.
Tobongon Update: Food prices in Tobongon, North Sulawesi have spiked to more than 30%. The price of rice per sack was Rp 500,000 early this week and is now Rp 800,000. The price of eggs, before was Rp 34,000/kg and is now Rp 50,000/kg.
Further, the Bolaang Mongondow district government has applied for PSBB (large scale social movement restriction). If this is approved it will further limit the movement of logistics and people in the area.
Richard Gutierrez is the AGC’s Project Manager in Indonesia
The Artisanal Gold Council has partnered with Global Affairs Canada (GAC) (CAD $7.4 million) to create scalable models for a socially and environmentally responsible and economically sustainable ASGM sector in Indonesia, at targeted sites in Central Kalimantan and North Sulawesi. The five-year Project (2015-2020) aims to (i) improve technical, environmental, health, and gender equitable practices for men and women involved in artisanal mining, their communities, and related businesses; (ii) enhance policy and government support for ASGM activities at local, provinical, and national levels in Indonesia; and (iii) increase the trade of and social investment in responsible ASGM gold in Indonesia.
For more information see the AGC’s Indonesia Project Website: https://pers.no-hg.org/welcome/