Cabinet Secretary Holds FGD on Improving Competitiveness of Plantation Commodities
Office of the Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Economic Affairs Tuesday (02/28) held a focus group discussion (FGD) on measures to improve competitiveness of top agricultural commodities.
The FGD titled “Strategies for Improving Competitiveness of Export Products on Strategic Plantation Commodities: Series II” was held online and joined by plantation associations and business actors, as well as several ministries/institutions related to the sector.
According to Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Agricultural Affairs, Food Security, and Innovation Ida Dwi Nilasari, the discussion was focused on the business sector’s perception and needs for strategies for improving competitiveness of export products of strategic plantation commodities.
Ida also stated that there are many challenges in the plantation sector that must be overcome, one of which is increasing the contribution of the plantation sector to the national economic growth and improving welfare of farmers, plantation workers, as well as upstream and downstream agricultural business actors.
She also pointed out that the plantation sector’s GDP in 2022 only grew by 1.64 percent from the previous year, which is far from the growth target of 5 percent set in the 2021-2024 National Medium-Term Development Plan.
“Therefore, the President gave a directive to boost competitiveness of export plantation products and national agriculture development,” she said, adding that issues in upstream and downstream plantation related to strategic export product competitiveness have been identified in the first FGD series held last February.
“Industrial and cold-chain technology utilization is not yet optimal. There are issues with food security due to the implementation of GMP and HACCP, and standard production and end-products have not yet met the provisions of export destination countries,” she said.
Ida expressed hope that the second FGD series can give more insight and result in a recommendation of government policies on measures to improve competitiveness of top plantation commodities.
“We hope that the presence and active participation of FGD participants can result in a policy recommendation for the plantation sector and solve issues in the plantation sector related to cross-sectoral policies, including agriculture, trade, industry, state finance, and investment that affect the national economic growth,” she remarked. (FID/UN) (DH/EP)