Indonesian aquaculture sector has not been able to face the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 because it was overshadowed by the issue of availability of seeds that caused supply of raw materials always insufficient. Aquaculture production is growing, but less rapidly compared to consumption. Industry capacity could not catch up, so factories are not able to produce. As a result, production costs and prices soared. This was conveyed by Thomas Darmawan, chairman of the Indonesian Fishery product Processing and Marketing Association (AP5I), in Jakarta (Friday, January 10).
Thomas cited that the national shrimp industry often must fight to obtain raw materials, coupled with government policies which do not allow entrepreneurs to import raw materials and give added value in the country. Supposedly, if the government intends to industrialize fisheries sector, there is no problem if the industry do imports of raw materials in large amount. He gives an argument that the market for processed fishery products from Indonesia will always be fully absorbed by the international market. But, what happened is that the industry has difficulty to develop due to limited raw materials.
Meanwhile, the government asked local entrepreneurs in the fishery sector to be aware of four things that could potentially undermine the competitiveness of national industry prior to the enactment of AEC 2015. The four things are raw material supply chain, logistics systems, quality competition and market conditions. Directorate General of Fisheries Processing and Marketing of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF), Saut Hutagalung, said that these four things should be observed because 2014 is the determining year. National industry’s readiness will be tested before competing from other ASEAN countries, particularly Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines.
As for the logistics system, he said, it is closely related to the smoothness of supply chain associated to synergy between raw materials providers, distributors, and consumers. Saut added that regarding quality, it is equally important as the core of competition in the regional or global level is a quality war, whether for raw materials/raw fish or products with added value. Last, but no less important for the export market, is the obedience of the national fisheries industry operators in meeting market requirements, among others, certification (best practices), and traceability.
MMAF mentioned that the economic value of Indonesian fisheries sector is projected to rise Rp45 trillion or equivalent to Rp270 trillion in 2013 from the capacity in 2012 at Rp225 trillion. He outlined that the increase in the economic value is affected by enlargement of fisheries-related industries. Fisheries products originating from Indonesia are not only exported in raw form, but also processed further. Salted fish (pindang ikan) is now packed and sold in supermarkets. Simple preparations that meet quality standards are able to boots value. The economic value of fisheries products are also supported by crude exports, including shrimp. Price of shrimp from Indonesia recently doubled due to scarcity of supply in the world.
Increased uptake of the international market, he added, makes shrimp prices continue to rise According to him, enlargement of market should be followed by efforts to maintain quality. One of them is multiplying the number of farmers who hold certificate of good seed practices. He said that the economic potential of fish farming should be welcomed considering that capture fisheries production has declined. In the last few years, capture fisheries capacity is only 5.8 million – 6 million tons of fish per year. It is said that in the last 5 years, it has been stagnant due to climate and weather. Therefore, aquaculture, both on land and sea, must increasingly be encouraged. (E)
Business News - January 15, 2014