The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian Traditional Salt Producers Association (KNTI) has rejected the government’s plan to import 3.7 million tons of salt, said KNTI chairman Misbachul Munir in Jakarta on Sunday.
He said salt imports that exceeded local demand would only disrupt efforts to become self-sufficient in the commodity.
He said the reasons for the quota were weak. “It was decided only because of the rainy season and to add to the national stock,” said Misbachul as reported by tempo.co.
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti previously questioned the Office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister’s decision to import 3.7 million tons of salt, while Susi only recommended 2.1 million tons of salt import quota.
According to the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, the country is projected to consume 3.9 million tons of salt this year. Total production stands at 1.5 million, while remaining stock at 340,000 tons.
Meanwhile, the Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister’s undersecretary for food and agriculture, Muzdalifah, said the import quota would be realized if local farmers failed to meet the demand.
Misbachul mentioned four reasons why the producers rejected the import. First, the government had imported too much salt in the last four years. Second, the import policy had discouraged farmers from producing salt.
Third, because of the import policy, state-owned slat producer PT Garam had only absorbed a small amount of salt produced my farmers. And fourth, because of the import, the government is reluctant to expand the salt farms. (bbn)