Indonesia will not import more meat this year: Agriculture Ministry

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Ministry of Agriculture (Kementan) has announced that it will not increase its meat import quota this year due to time constraints.

"Additional meat importation this year is impossible because of limited time. The current quota for imported meat had been set based on the needs of hotels, restaurants and the catering industry," Deputy Minister of Agriculture Rusman Heriawan said here on Wednesday.

He noted that the demand for meat in Indonesia this year reached 484,000 tons, while domestic breeders could only supply 399,000 tons.

"To fill the gap, we imported at least 85,000 tons of meat. Later, the government raised the quota and imported an additional 7,000 tons, which took our total import of frozen meat this year to 92,000 tons," Rusman explained.

"The rise in meat prices of late is not due to a reduction in quota of imported meat, but because of logistic and infrastructural problems relating to dispatch of cows from producers to consumers in DKI Jakarta, West Java and Banten," he pointed out.

"We will tackle the lack of meat supply by sending cows from West Nusa Tenggara," Rusman said.

The Ministry of Agriculture plans to dispatch 5,000 cows from West Nusa Tenggara to Jakarta.

"However, the effort will face many challenges, particularly transportation related, because Indonesia does not yet have proper livestock transportation facilities," Rusman stated. (*)