"Vietnam has been an export destination country. This practice must be stopped, and exports should be directed to India and Europe," Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman remarked during the release of white pepper exports at the white pepper plantation of Air Seruk Belitung Village on Saturday.
Sulaiman remarked that the decision to end or cut pepper exports to Vietnam was taken since the country has, so far, reprocessed Indonesia's pepper for re-exporting to destination countries, including Europe and India. In future, direct processing should take place in Indonesia.
"We have held negotiations with India. We have now been successful in entering India. Earlier, it was in the United States, and then in Japan and Europe. This is part of our efforts. For instance, Malaysia and Singapore used to be transit countries for mangosteen. This is unfortunate for our farmers. However, now, they can directly send to China," he remarked.
Hence, the agriculture minister has instructed the Agricultural Quarantine Agency to support all Indonesian export products to directly enter the destination country or to not transit in other countries.
"That is our aspiration. We strive for high-quality produce along with high productivity. We then go for the reduction. We can get the added value everywhere, so we then export directly to the destination country," he remarked.
Deputy Governor of Bangka Belitung Abdul Fatah praised Kementan's performance through the Pangkal Pinang Agricultural Quarantine that had overseen its regional superior commodities abroad.
Fatah is upbeat that the central government, in this matter, the Kementan, will direct its focus on the plantation sub-sector in its area to restore the former glory of agricultural commodities from Bangka Belitung.
"Some 2.5 tons per hectare of pepper is produced in Bangka Belitung. In 2017, the production had reached 34 thousand tons, 36 thousand tons in 2018, while the target is set at 43 thousand tons in 2019. In future, through the ministry program, we are optimistic of the productivity and quality increasing," Fatah remarked.