Indonesian govt vows to boost local fruit production

Indonesian govt vows to boost local fruit production

(ANTARA/Budi Afandi)

"We want the Indonesian people to become increasingly fonder of local fruits."
Bandung, West Java (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government has pledged to boost local fruit production in an effort to minimise the nation's dependence on imported fruits, according to Agriculture Minister Suswono.

"We have been working with several state-owned enterprises in order to increase the production of local fruits," he said here on Monday, adding that Indonesia was lagging behind other countries in fruit production.

Suswono stated that the government was also making efforts to provide traditional farmers with improved access to modern markets. "At many modern marketplaces now, local fruits are being displayed beside imported fruits," he noted.

Last year, the government launched the "Love Indonesian Fruits" campaign in a bid to encourage consumption of local fruits.

Suswono said the campaign was expected to raise awareness that local fruits were not inferior to imported fruits.

"Through this movement, we want the Indonesian people to become increasingly fonder of local fruits amid the glut of imported fruits. This movement will also be supported by follow-up measures to improve the quality of local fruits and shorten the supply chain in the fruit production industry. By doing so, fruit growers can make enough profits and consumers can also buy local fruits at affordable prices," he explained.

The one-year campaign calls for the official declaration of Friday as national fruit day, on which state institutions, government agencies, food and beverage industries, hotels, and retailers would encourage exclusive consumption of local fruits.

"The campaign is also aimed at encouraging the imposition of Indonesian National Standard (SNI) on Indonesian fruits. The SNI has so far been used to determine the quality standards of imported fruits only. The campaign also seeks higher duties on imported fruits in order to protect local fruits against their onslaught," Suswono stated.

"In addition, the government has been urged to improve the nation's fruit trading system and fruit production infrastructure," he added.

The Love Indonesian Fruits campaign also calls for the implementation of a number of programmes to help new local fruit growers and traders set up business.