Friday, 19 April 2019 | 09:58 WIB

Tea Exports Reach IDR1 T, Agriculture Ministry Set to Boost Global Competitiveness

Illustration: Tea plantation

JAKARTA, NNC - Director General of Plantations at the Ministry of Agriculture Bambang said that tea commodities contributed to the national economy, data showed tea exports went up 1% from 2016 amounting to IDR1.51 trillion to IDR1.53 trillion in 2017, and as of September 2018, the contribution of tea exports has reached IDR1.23 trillion.

"Russia, Malaysia and Pakistan are the 3 destination countries for Indonesian tea exports with contributions reaching 41%," Bambang said at the Annual Meeting of the Indonesian Tea Board, which was held at the Meeting Room of the Directorate General of Plantation, Jakarta, Thursday (11/15/208).

According to him, even though the average area and national production growth in 2014-2017 declined but in 2018 it began to show an increase, especially production from 139.36 thousand tons to 140.23 thousand tons as of September 2018.

Of course, continued Bambang, it is expected that advancing national tea requires synergy and the role of all parties, especially farmers and industry to improve national tea competitiveness.

"Because according to the mandate of the Law, tea farmers must legally partner with their industries," in summary.

Bambang revealed from the records of the Director General of Plantation currently there is only one Indonesian tea product that has the best competitiveness, namely Teh Java Preanger, which has received certification of Geographical Indication (IG) in 2015.

"Let us improve Indonesian tea quality, I hope the role of the Indonesian Tea Board to encourage the emergence of IG-certified Indonesian tea and have quality in accordance with market demand," Bambang said.

For the past 5 years, the form of attention and commitment of the Minister of Agriculture in the development of plantation commodities is very high, especially to lift national tea production.

"During 2014-2019 for the development of tea, the Ministry of Agriculture through the Directorate General of Plantation allocated 11,310 hectares of tea development consisting of intensification of 6,870 hectares and rehabilitation of 4,440 hectares," he explained.

The development location was chosen according to the location set by the Minister of Agriculture to become one of the national tea development areas, one of which is the West Java province, with national tea production contributing 71%.

Bambang emphasized that the Directorate General of Plantation's policy in the future is how to maintain the national tea area while increasing its productivity and quality. It also needs attention regarding food security.

"Because the exported tea products must be adjusted to standardize demand for export destination countries," Bambang concluded.