Agriculture ministry not performing well

Agriculture ministry not performing well

Ali Masykur Musa. (ANTARA/Widodo S. Jusuf)

"In the second semester of 2012, BPK studied implementation of the program for beef self sufficiency.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Supreme Financial Audit Agency (BPK) said the agriculture ministry has not performed well in supervising imports of beef.

Poor performance has resulted in failure to achieve target in 2010-2012 under the country`s program to create self sufficiency in beef supply (PSDS), a BPK official Ali Masykur Musa said.

"In the second semester of 2012, BPK studied implementation of the program for beef self sufficiency. Based on the examination progress made in the implementation of the program from August to October in 2011, fell short of expectation that it was concluded the target and goals of the program could not be achieved because of poor performance of the agriculture ministry in controlling beef imports," Ali Masykur said here on Wednesday.

He said under the government`s mid term development plan (RPJMN) 2010-2014, the country is to be self sufficient in beef supply in 2014 with 90 percent of the domestic requirement to be domestically supplied and the remaining 10 percent to be covered with imports.

"The fact is, based on our examination of the implementation of the program, from August to October in 2011, we found a number of things that need addressing, things that had made it difficult to achieve self sufficiency in beef in 2014," he said.

He cited there was no effective measure to prevent the slaughtering of productive female cows.

"In the document `Blue Print` of PSDS 2014 it is stated that the slaughtering of productive female cows in Indonesia has come to an alarming level stunting the country`s cow population growth, which was set at 200,000 per year. In fact the policy and the Blue Print of the agriculture minister is not consistent and not sustainable. There is not reliable figure for public consumption and supply in the country," he told reporters in a news conference here on Wednesday.

In addition, implementation of the PSDS program in 2010, which was financed under social aid system was not effective and not contribute to the effort to achieve the self sufficiency in 2014, he added.

"Social aid in 2010 was Rp12.18 billion for 28 groups of livestock farms in 15 regencies or city in South Sulawesi province given under the program to develop breeding center for beef cattle, but the program failed as it is not located in an area potential for beef cattle breeding center as already determine under a decision of the South Sulawesi governor in 1976," he said.

He said the agriculture ministry adopted a weak control of beef imports saying there is no document of beef import requirement and quota and no data on which to calculate import requirement.

"Quota was set not on the PSDS blue print but rather on the policy of the minister not backed up by data. Imports, therefore, far exceeded requirement," he said.

Imports of beef in the period of 2008-2012 always exceeded requirement, he said, citing, in 2011, imports totaled 102,900 tons as against requirement of only 35,800 tons.

He said BPK also found the policy of the government being not consistent with the program for self sufficiency in beef supply .

"Exemption of beef imports from value added tax would hamper efforts to toward creation of self sufficiency," he said.

He also mentioned indications of falsification of import license by a number of companies and other irregularities showing weak and poor performance of the agriculture ministry.

The agriculture ministry drew the spotlight lately over a high profile beef import scandal leading to the arrest of Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq, former president of the Islamic Prosperous and Justice Party (PKS).

Luthfi was arrested red handed in the bribery case by the Corruption Eradication Commission, which also charges him later with money laundering.

Before his arrest, Luthfi was reported to have a meeting with Agriculture Minister Suswono, who is also a cadre of the party, in Medan, North Sumatra also attended by the owner of an importing company, which is implicated in the bribery case.

KPK has also questioned Suswono on the beef import scandal.
(Uu.H-ASG/H-YH)

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