Horticultural Product Imports Unstoppable
Senin, 03 Maret 2014 | 08:38
The government urged to immediately stem the rush of horticultural imports in order to protect the competitiveness of local farmers amid the invasion of imported products.
National Horticultural Association (AHN) revealed 37 imports of horticultural products have skyrocketed without any firm steps from the Ministry of Trade to mute it.
The government is considered too weak in giving rights for importers to buy foreign horticultural products as much as possible, as long as they can meet the 80% quota supply.
"Complaints from farmers on imported agricultural products are often not heard by the authority. There is done concrete action from the Ministry of Trade for local farmers, besides chili and onions," said Secretary General of AHN Ramdansyah, Monday (2/24).
This, he continued, has resulted a swift over horticultural products imported into the Indonesian market and lead to a fall in prices of local products.
Specifically, he cited the case of a lack of government protection for farmers in Malang apple farmers from the onslaught of imported apples from China. He explained that there are four issues that are expected to be addressed by the government.
First, the shift of 60 % -70 % of agricultural land use in Malang which turn into entertainment places, hotels, sugar cane plantations, or even abandoned. Second is most Malang apples are imported products, so the price of apples plummeted to just IDR2,500/kg at the retail level.
Third, the decline in the price of local apples to trigger large farmers switch to other sectors such as property, agrotourism, and even left the plantation thus making Malang apple growing loss of competitiveness against imported apples.
Meanwhile, the fourth problem is the impact of the Mount Kelud eruption which made apple growers difficult to market their products.
"Referring to the Malang apple production decrease, we hope Muhammad Lutfi, who replaced Gita Wirjawan can pay attention to the farmers," said Ramdansyah.
CANNOT BE PROHIBITED
In a different occasion on the sidelines of the inauguration of Nyanggelan market in Denpasar, Director General of Domestic Trade (PDN) Srie Agustina admitted the government cannot simply prohibit the entry of imported fruits.
"We 're studying the apple issue. But if the imported fruits are qualified, we cannot prohibit . It's okay, why we have to prohibit it," she told Bisnis on Monday (2/24).
According Srie, apple production figures and local fruits in the country is actually quite good. However, domestic consumers tend to look for fruit with imported quality.
"Therefore, education for consumers is also important, " she said.
Indonesia Horticulture Board Chairman Benny Kusbini explained the main problems faced by apple growers in the country are those driven by excessive issuance of import licenses in 2014.
In addition, he said, local consumers prefer the original fruit flavors in Indonesia’s products. It should be a boost for farmers to improve the quality of their products.
"It is difficult to restrict imports. It is too late, so it cannot be restricted. What we can do is to put the brakes on the import permit that has been issued by the moratorium. We cannot forbid. We cannot forbid? Why our fruits are difficult to get into their market. This means that they have a right ordinances," he said when contacted by Bisnis.
In order to reduce imports of horticultures, the government is advised to make the import as a temporary solution in accordance with the mandate of Law No.13/2010 and Law No.18/2012, as well as impose sanctions against the registered importer (IT) of horticultures which cannot meet the 80% petition to revoke their license for 2 years in accordance with Minister of Trade’s Decree No.47/2013.
oleh Wike Dita Herlinda, Hadijah Alaydrus