Production of refined sugar for the food and beverage industry, both from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and large enterprises, in the next year is expected to increase with 3.4 million tons of raw material quota. Suryo Alam, Chairman of the Indonesian Refined Sugar Association (AGRI), in Jakarta (Friday, November 22) said the predicted increase of raw material refined sugar is in line with the growth of the food and beverage industry in the country. He explained that this year the refined sugar raw material quota is 3.1 million tons, higher than in 2012 at 2.6 million tons. This, he said, showed that the food and beverage industry is growing by year, let alone many food and beverage factories of foreign companies that began to emerge.
Although the value of the Rupiah weakened this year, but according to Suryo, refined sugar raw materials which is 100% imported does not significantly affect demand for the food and beverage industries are exporting their products. Suryo added that the leakage of refined sugar into the consumer market is happening outside java because of the lack of sugar supply so that consumers switch to refined sugar, but for cooperative, SMEs and association of small traders who produce snacks and beverages for resale.
Previously, the Indonesian Sugar and Flour Association (Apegti) stated that the case permeation of refined sugar that occurs in a number of areas would drop the price of sugar produced by farmers. Chairman of Apegti, Natsir Masyur, stated that the permeation of refined sugar into the public market led to a fall in the price of consumption sugar produced by farmers so that they find it difficult to compete in the market. Natsir asked the government to be transparent about refined sugar audit promised a few years ago.
Apegti reminded that the government related to the House of Representatives’ Commission VI to pay attention to the condition with the predefined policies. He stressed that the problem of refined sugar permeation should be watched out because it will result in the closing of cane-based sugar mills in Java. Previously, the Ministry of Trade will impose sanctions in the form of reduction of refined sugar import allocation to companies are proven to have committed violation or permeation of refined sugar into the market.
On the other hand, a number of observations estimated that the target of realization of national sugar self-sufficiency at 5 million tons by 2014 is threatened because of the differences in opinion between the government and sugar cane farmers to get the achievement. Indonesia Sugarcane Farmers Association (APTRI) considered that government measures which only proclaimed area 300,000 hectares will be useless if not supported by efforts to increase of yield of sugarcane produced by farmers by modernization of equipment. One of the government’s effort that should be taken to increase productivity and yield it is to revitalize sugar factories as mush as possible, in line with the preparation for the free market in 2015.
Currently, the orientation of the government and sugar cane farmers in achieving sugar self-sufficiency is conflicting. The government believed that it only needs to add sugarcane acreage alone, while from farmer side, if productivity and yield do not increase, the sugar produced from sugar cane plants will not be much. In addition to encouraging farmers to make crop improvement, extensification, ratoon cropping, and balanced use of fertilizers, the government should also do revitalization of sugar factories as much as possible because of equipment modernization could increase productivity and yield.