Gita Faces Dilemma to Import

Senin, 02 September 2013 | 12:21

Minister of Trade, Gita Wirjawan, admits he faces dilemmatic situation in issuing import permit on food commodities due to inadequate food production to fulfill nation al demand.“This is often a dilemmatic stuff for Minister of Trade and all staffs of Ministry of Trade,” said Gita Wirjawan in Jakarta on Thursday (8/29).

He said on one hand we want to increase local production, but on the other hand we want to maintain stability, otherwise, it would result in inflation and impede the acceleration of economic growth.

He put an example of national garlic need for one year amounts to 400,000 tons, while garlic production by local farmers per year only reaches 20,000 tons.

Consequently, supply of garlic has deficit of 380,000 tons, want it or not, we have to import it.

The ministry’s reason is not to put import activity forward, but it is clearly to maintain price stability.

“But if the local producers can only produce 20,000 tons from the total need of 400,000 tons, it is difficult to maintain stability without any thought of and enablement of import and this is dilemmatic,” he said.

Similar thing, said Gita, also occurs to soybean commodity which the local farmers can only produce 700,000 tons out of national demand amounted to 2,5 million tons per year, hence the deficit of 1.8 million tons must be solved by importing soybeans. (msw)

by Rustam Agus, Intan Permatasari