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Indonesia: Food prices soar ahead of Ramadan holy month

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By Sarah Taylor  with Reuters, IBTimes
Indonesia: Food prices soar ahead of Ramadan holy month

With the Muslim world anticipating the start of Ramadan, Indonesians are preparing for the month-long fasting period.

The south-east Asian country has a larger Muslim population than anywhere else in the world, with over 202 million citizens claiming to follow Islam.

Between sunset and daybreak, families gather for fast-breaking meals. But with widespread job losses nationwide and a spike in inflation, some are worried food prices will increase ahead of the holy month.

Staple foodstuffs such as chili and rice have seen prices soar.

“It’s not good,” Jakarta local Sumarni said. “I hope the authorities, the governor, controls prices so it will not increase too much. For the working classes, like us, if the price is too high we can’t afford it.”

But price increases or not, fellow local Tumina said: “It is the most important event of the year, of course we cannot skip it. It’s an obligation.”