Arsianews, Jakarta – Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture hosted an official ceremony in Purwakarta, East Java, celebrating the export of 3,010 tons of mangosteens to China. The success of exporting mangosteen to China signifies the government’s efforts to boost fruit exports
Mangosteen, an Indonesian native fruit, has good export prospects and has already penetrated many destination countries such as China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the USA, and Australia.
Syukur Iwantoro, Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture, said that purple skinned fruit has experienced a significant increase in demand over the past 6 years.The government has created a center for mangosteen exports in several producing districts/cities in West Java.
The mangosteen export centre aimed at providing growers with information on export requirements and motivating them to improve product quality and quantity.
According to Siti Nurianty, Head of the Bogor Regency Food and Horticulture Department, due to strict requirements from importing countries, it’s important for growers to maintain good agriculture practices, pest control, and post-harvest treatment to help the fruit remain competitive.
“Gradually, we will register the [mangosteen] farmland that has yet to implement standard operating procedures,” she said.
Known for its rich biodiversity, Indonesia is blessed with lots of tropical fruit varieties. Indonesian pineapples, mangosteens, bananas, mangos and other fruits have filled not only Asian markets, but also those in Europe and the United States.
However, Indonesia is still lagging behind its ASEAN neighbors such as Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam, which are billed as the world’s major exporters of tropical fruits. Compared with Vietnamese and Thai fruits, Indonesian products are less competitive not only because of their low quality but also expensive transportation costs.
Unlike Thailand and Vietnam, which use land transportation to export their fruits to China, Indonesia still relies on air transportation. To reduce logistics costs, Indonesia needs special ships equipped with a cold storage system to reach its fruit buyers overseas, simply because fruits are highly perishable.
Transportation is a long-standing issue Indonesia has failed to address. This problem is the reason why oranges imported from China are sold in Jakarta supermarkets at a lower price than oranges brought in from North Sumatra.
Unsurprisingly, Indonesia is becoming a large fruit market of other Asian countries, rather than an important export player. According to Statistics Indonesia data, Indonesia’s fruit imports totaled US$1.03 billion, while exports only reached $674.05 million from January to October last year.