The level of fruit and vegetable consumption in Indonesia is low. While in fact, it is important because it can reduce death risk. One of the reasons of low fruit and vegetable consumption in Indonesia is public concern over the risk of pesticide contamination. If fruits and vegetables are washed property, the pesticides found in fruits and vegetable will fall out, so it is safe for consumption. Pesticides can be diluted with water. So, washing fruits and vegetables can remove the pesticides from the fruits and vegetables.
Meanwhile, to increase fruit consumption, the Ministry of Agriculture encouraged investors to invest in the horticulture sector. Domestic production increase is also necessary for the welfare of farmers. Director General of Horticulture of the Ministry of Agriculture, Hassanuddin Ibrahim, in Jakarta, on Tuesday (October 2014), said that in addition to encouraging investment and consumption of fruits and vegetables, he also said that there were some efforts made by the Ministry of Agriculture to improve productivity.
For fruits, he added, the Ministry of Agriculture distributed superior quality tree seeds freely to farmers in all regions in accordance with the agro-climate. Then, multiply the seasonal fruits, such as papaya, banana, melon, watermelon, pineapple, that produce fruits throughout the year. The importance of increasing seasonal fruit production, Hasanuddin continued, is to anticipate the availability of annual seasonal fruits, such as durian, mango, rambutan, mangosteen, and others. And, for vegetables, he said, it would develop environmentally friendly urban farming and tech farmers how to grow vegetables.
However, he continued, independence of farmers and regions in the horticulture sector is not only met through productivity of vegetables. However, farmers also need to independently develop other supporting factors such, such as pesticides, horticulture clinics, seed system and organic fertilizer. In terms of land, Hasanuddin said, horticulture did not need a large area, such as food crops or plantations. Yet however, the Ministry of Agriculture still asked for a guarantee of availability of land from the local government.
Hasanuddin considered that the rate of fruit and vegetable consumption by the Indonesia society is still far short of the ideal figure set by the world food agency (Food and Agriculture Organization/FAO). In fact, Indonesia is a large producer of a variety of fruit and vegetables. It is said that this potential not yet correlates with the consumption level because it not yet fulfills the requirement of the world food agency. He said that FAO requires the consumption of fruits and vegetables ideally at 65.75 kg per capita per year. Meanwhile, fruits and vegetable consumption in Indonesia is only 40 kg per capita per year.
And, compared to some neighboring countries, the level of vegetable consumption in Indonesia lags far behind. In Singapore, for example, the level of vegetable consumption has reached 120 kg/capita/year, well above the FAO recommendation. In China, the rate is even higher, reaching 270 kg/capita/year. While, in Cambodia and Vietnam at 109 kg/capita/year and 85 kg/capita/year, respectively. Therefore, he asserted that increase of fruit and vegetable consumption in Indonesia is very important. Because directly or indirectly, horticulture sector is part of four successful agricultural development programs for the next five years, which is included in food diversification program.
To further develop and promote Indonesian horticultural commodities, he said, there should be a revamping of trading system and marketing system. Development or horticultural commodities is also strongly influenced by demand and change in consumer tastes, both at home and abroad. He reminded that competition in horticultural commodities is very tight, both in the domestic and global markets. Therefore, there should be an increase of competitiveness and reputation of horticultural products. (E)
Business News - October 17, 2014