Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the Release of Agricultural Exports, 14 August 2021, virtually from Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java Province
Date 14 Agustus 2021
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
May prosperity be upon us all,
Greetings of virtue.
Distinguished Minister of Agriculture and all Ministers attending;
Distinguished Governors, Regents, Mayors, the Regional Leader Coordinating Forum (Forkopimda), Business Players, Exporters, and Buyers;
Ladies and Gentlemen, Esteemed Guests.
First of all, I’d like to extend my highest appreciation to the farmers, ranchers, planters, agribusiness actors, and other agricultural stakeholders who have worked hard during the pandemic to meet the food demands of the community and increase agricultural product exports.
The agricultural sector remains one of the sectors that has survived the pandemic. The agricultural exports in 2020 reached Rp451.8 trillion, 15.79 percent higher than the previous year’s amount of Rp390.16 trillion. Meanwhile, the export value for January to July period in 2021 reached Rp282.86 trillion, 14.05 percent higher than that in the same period in 2020 at Rp202.05 trillion.
The increase in agricultural commodity exports has an impact on enhancing the welfare of farmers as well. I received report that the Farmers Exchange Value (NTP) continued to improve. In June 2020, the NTP reached 99.60, then it consistently increased until December 2020 at 103.25, and it reached 103.59 in June 2021. For me, this is good news that can encourage the enthusiasm of our farmers to stay productive during the pandemic.
Minister of Agriculture have also said that the export of rice to Saudi Arabia has already started. If we calculated it correctly, we have more rice supply and we can export them. But once again, it should be well-calculated, ensure that the existing stock is actually sufficient for domestic demand. That means that domestic demand should come first, if we have more stock based on the calculations, we can export them.
I also order governors, regents, and mayors to explore commodity export potential in their respective regions. Do work on agricultural commodities that have the potential to be developed immediately. Encourage the farmers with access to capital, technological innovation, and assistance. I’ve talked with the president directors of our banks to pay attention to the agricultural sector, because this is an opportunity as Minister of Agriculture said about umbi porang (elephant foot yam). There is a large market that we can enter, but also the exports should not be raw, not to mention if they are still in the form of tubers. Well, at least they should be in the shredded forms or it will be better if they are in the finished goods or ready-made porang rice, I think our target is downstream. I also order to connect with national supply chains and global supply chains, so that it is easy for farmers to export, agricultural business players are also easy to export, so they can develop to be export-oriented agricultural production centers.
To date, out of 514 regencies and cities throughout Indonesia, only 293 regencies/cities that have centers for leading export agricultural commodities, including palm products, rubber, coffee, and several other commodities that hold great interest for the global market. There are still a lot of commodities with great potential to be developed, swiftlet’s nests, I already mentioned porang, also essential oils which have been quite developed in recent years. There are also other commodities, including jasmine flowers, ornamental plants, edamame, other horticultural products that will be good quality products to export if we pay attention to them, as well as processed livestock products whose markets are also increasingly open.
However, it is not enough just to focus on increasing production capacity, the most important thing is that we must master technology to increase productivity, downstream to increase added value and calculate economies of scale by clustering, this is very important, as well as mechanized product development and also digital-based product promotion. We must also develop all of these things so that our agricultural products will be more widely known and more competitive.
We must also continue to strengthen the domestic and international markets. For the domestic market, we encourage people to love and buy our own agricultural products, and to consume healthy food produced by our own country. For the international market, we can start to enter the markets of non-traditional countries intensively and integrated, this is our opportunity, a good momentum during the pandemic so that the market potential is expanding.
Today, we will export agricultural commodities simultaneously from 17 export gates through airports and seaports in various regions in Indonesia as a momentum to strengthen Indonesian agricultural commodity exports and mark the revival of the national economy amid the pandemic.
I think that concludes my remarks on this auspicious occasion.
By saying bismillahirrahmanirrahim, today I officially inaugurate the 2021 Release of Agricultural Exports.
I thank you.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. (SA/LW)