Slump of prices of meat and living cows were evidently caused by many factors. Apart from over importing, it was also caused by weakened purchasing power of the customers. For that matter, the Government had stopped importing calves while making corrections on importing policy; hence over supply of meat could be prevented.
Turni Rusli Syamsuddin, Director of Veterinary Community’s Health (Kes Mavit), Directorate General of Farming, Ministry of Agriculture disclosed to Business News in Jakarta that today the price of meat was down by Rp. 2,000 to Rp. 4,000 kg while the price of living cow dropped by 25%.
The declining price of cow and meat at the domestic market was caused by downturn of the price of cow and mat at the global market, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, which were countries of origin of calves imported by Indonesia. The causes of price downturn were:
Firstly the downturn of price in New Zealand was because the country was now at the stage of cow slaughtering of defect (infertile) female cows. It was estimated that the number of slaughtered cows constituted 10% of total cow population in that country. Meanwhile the slump of meat price in Australia was because America who had been importing meat from Australia was reducing their import volume the condition had increased total of meat supply for the world.
Secondly, domestic demand for cows was also decreasing because the consumers were reducing purchase of mat as they prioritized on household expenditures while they needed money for school expenses of their Children.
Thirdly, there was an oversupply of meat at the domestic market because cattle rearers had to sell their cows. “This is inevitable because they need money for educational expenses of their children.
In the effort to prevent further slum of cows and meat prices, the Government was temporarily suspending permit of import of calves since two months ago. Up till now the permit for cow importing issued by the Government was for 1 (one) million cows.
The Central Government was asked by the Provincial Government to make corrections on the recommendation for import of meat because of oversupply at home. Recommendation of the Provincial Government showed a fifure of 109.533 tons, the breakdown being the Jakarta Province: 25.140 tons, West Java 24.385 tons and Banten 60 thousand tons. Assuming that the need for meat was 70 thousand over/year, there was a difference of 70.000 tons/year “We have requested the Central Government to reduce import recommendations for meat”.
About the plan to completely halt import of cow’s internal organs, the regulations and guidelines had already been prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture. As known, when the Government planned to stop import of internal organs the case had been controversial as some people were going for and against the plan.
Those who supported the plan to halt import of internal organs argues that internal organs were not eatworthy (inedible), while those who were against stopping saw that there were small industries who relied on internal organs of cow. “Finally the Government decided not to completely stop import of internal organs but just to gradually reduce import of it” Rusli remarked.