Experts of the industry circles agreed that seed nursery business must be developed to step up competitiveness of horticulture products in the market, at home or abroad. Benny Kusbini, Chairman of the Indonesian Council of Horticulture stated in Jakarta on Tuesday [22/7] that low investment in horticulture would cause overseas horticulture products to invade Indonesia to kill the local farmers. For information, today the Constitutional Court was testing Law no 13/2010 on Horticulture, especially Article 100 which restricted foreign investment to 30%.
Benny stated that Indonesia’s horticulture products was still way behind compared to Thailand, unless there were effort to improve, it was feared that Indonesia would be merley market for other countries. According to Benny, the Law of Horticulture had accommodated all farmer’s demand. However there was a crucial point in Article 100 on restriction for foreign investment at only 30%. If this Article was put in effect, he said, seed producers would relocate their business abroad which would disadvantage millions of horticulture farmers who relied on premium variety.
Due to weak competitive edge, Benny saw that is was hard for Indonesia to be independent from imported products especially agricultural and horticulture products. Other problem was low production due to anomalous weather. Besides agriculture system in Indonesia was still inferior which was why production was low. This was because Indonesia had no command over advanced agro-technology. It seemed that the Bogor Institute of Agriculture [IPB] was not doing their role to the maximum while even infra structure and seed were not sufficient.
Benny disclosed that many other countries were flood like Indonesia, but since their system was good they were able to minimize the flood effect. Benny pled the Government to seriously reform agriculture.
About import, Benny reminded the Government that issuing permit for agriculture importing, the Government check up people’s demand first so there would be no distortion and conflicting interest between the product imported and the product produced by local farmers, although the consumers retained their right to buy imported horticulture products.
The way it had been, Indonesia horticulture products was uncompetitive because the Five ‘P’ of Marketing: Product, Packaging, Pricing, and Promotion was not well executed. To illustrate horticulture product produced in Thailand an Japan were also produced at home. The potencial product were : salak palm fruit, mangostene, jackfruit, starfruit, watermelon, mango and guava. Benny said that if demand for horticulture products at home increased, importers. Imports would glance at the product.
Meanwhile the Government estimated the volume of imported horticulture this year was more than 6000,000 tons, an increase of 50% against last year which was only 400,000 tons. However the Director General of Trading of the Ministry of Trade, Bachruil Chairi was pessimistic that import could fulfill all of the indicative demand of 800,000 tons. By end of Semester I/2014, Bachrul mentioned that there were only 23 out of 151 importers who could realize 80% of the permitted amount. By the rule, importers who did not fulfill threshold would not be given anymore permit to import. He projected that import realization in Semester II/2 would be slightly above 300,000 tons, an increase of 5% - 10% against previous semester.(SS)
Business New - July 25, 2014