The Jakarta Post
Indonesia on Wednesday sent 5,600 tons of shallots to Thailand, the first shipment in a total of 9,000 tons of shallots to be exported to the country this year.
“In the past, we imported shallots from Thailand, but now we export the commodity to the country,” said Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman when releasing the trucks that transported containers from Brebes in Central Java to a seaport.
Brebes produces 18.5 percent of the country’s shallot output, and 57 percent of Central Java’s shallot output.
Amran said his ministry was cooperating with state-owned logistics firm Bulog to accelerate the distribution of agricultural commodities both for domestic needs and export.
Citing data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), Amran said in 2014, Indonesia imported 74,903 tons of shallots and in 2015, it still imported 17,429 tons of shallots. But in 2016, the country started to export 735 tons of shallots and in 2017, shallot exports increased to 7,750 tons.
He also explained that in 2016, Indonesia harvested shallots from 149,600 hectares of agricultural fields with a total production of 1.45 million tons, while in 2017, the total production reached 1.47 million tons.
Meanwhile, Budi Waseso called on farmers to improve the quality of agricultural commodities so that they could compete with other products in the international market.
He explained three main functions of Bulog – absorbing commodities produced by farmers with fair prices, maintaining the national stocks of staple foods and stabilizing prices.
Other shallot producers include Cirebon, Bandung, Majalengka, Garut, Demak, Tegal, Nganjuk, Probolinggo, Sampang, Pamekasan, Bima, Sumbawa and East Lombok. (bbn)