The Jakarta Post
Indonesian Sugarcane Farmers Association (APTRI) chairman Soemitro Samadikun claims 1.1 million tons of imported household sugar hampered the local sugar market last year.
“This import was really negative for farmers. The government needs to pay attention to the issue. Because of that, sugarcane farmers lost their appetite to stay in this business. The country could be a big net importer,” he said on the sidelines of an event in Jakarta on Monday.
He said household sugar produced by farmers reached 2.2 million tons last year, just short the 500,000 tons needed to fulfill national demand of 2.7 million tons.
He added that of the 1.1 million tons of household sugar, 381,000 tons had been ordered by state plantation firm PTPN X, 100,000 tons by state logistics agency Bulog and 200,000 tons by state trader Perusahaan Perdagangan Indonesia (PPI), among others.
Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukito, however, said household sugar had not been imported in 2016, adding that only some 300,000 tons of industry sugar imports had been leaked to the market.
Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested last year then Regional Representatives Council (DPD) speaker Irman Gusman for allegedly accepting bribes to increase the sugar import quota for an importer in West Sumatra. (bbn)
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