Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Agriculture still awaits a regulation on kratom plants (Mitragyna speciosa), known for their medicinal uses but also reported to have psychoactive properties.

A cabinet-level meeting chaired by President Joko Widodo was held in Jakarta on Thursday to discuss the governance, trade, and legality of kratom plants.

"We discussed kratom plants," Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman remarked. "They are categorized as a forest plant, but we suggested that the regulation should include cultivation so that its economic value and quality can increase."

The meeting also addressed the decrease in kratom prices due to various factors, including product quality and distribution.

Sulaiman stated that once the Ministry of Agriculture assumes responsibility for kratom governance, guidance for farmers will be issued and an entity will be established to ensure export quality.

"If a cooperative manages it, then the quality and quantity are guaranteed for export," he stated.

With a clear regulation in place, he said, the cultivation of kratom can be developed further, as the economic potential is high, with the price having once reached US$30 per kilogram.

"The price is currently around US$2 to US$5. This is too low," he remarked.

The government discussed the governance of kratom in response to complaints received from the community, especially 18,000 families in West Kalimantan experiencing difficulties in exporting kratom.

The National Narcotics Agency (BNN) stated that the use of kratom is not yet regulated under the Narcotics Law, so its utilization is not currently restricted by any laws, including local regulations.

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Translator: Yashinta P, Kenzu
Editor: Anton Santoso
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