APRI urges government to lift rattan export ban

APRI urges government to lift rattan export ban

Photo document of rattan industry. (ANTARA/Dian Dwi Saputra)

"It has resulted in unemployment."
Pontianak, West Kalimantan (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Rattan Employers Association, APRI, has urged the government to lift the rattan export ban, as per the Trade Ministry`s Regulation No.35/2011, which has affected many farmers in the country.

"We hope that the government will evaluate the rattan export ban regulation. One year has passed and there has been no evaluation by the government yet," said the association`s spokesperson, Rudyzar, on Thursday.

The association has urged the government of Kalimantan to look into the interests of rattan farmers, Rudyzar said.

Rudyzar added that the government had promised to resettle several craftsmen from Cirebon, West Java, to rattan producing regions outside Java to boost the growth of the rattan industry, through a warehouse receipt system. Until now, a warehouse has not been created.

In addition, the government had promised to increase investments in the region to develop industrial and rattan furniture in Indonesia, but until now, investments have not increased in the region, Rudyzar said.

"We urge the government to immediately lift the Trade Ministry's Regulation No. 35/2011 as it has been impeding the livelihood of rattan farmers and entrepreneurs in the region and outside Java," he said.

As a result of the ban, only two semi-finished rattan industries are operating in Sumatra. Previously, there were 20 industries in the region. There used to be a semi-finished rattan industry in Kalimantan, which has recently stopped its operations.

In Sulawesi, nine out of 60 semi-finished rattan industries remain, with a total production capacity of 30-40 percent. West Nusa Tenggara`s rattan industries have stopped their activities.

"The rattan export ban regulation, instead of increasing investments in the region, has made a lot of people miserable. It has resulted in unemployment," he said.

Indonesia is the world`s biggest rattan producer; approximately 80-90 percent of the world's rattan can be found in the forests of Indonesia. However, the rattan cannot be used because of the regulation No.35/2011. Hence, people are switching to synthetic materials.

"The government should come up with a proper solution so that the livelihoods of rattan farmers and entrepreneurs are not threatened," said Rudyzar.
(U.A050/INE/KR-BSR/A014)

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