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Indonesia’s House urges ministry to issue regulation banning whole coconut exports

Use your coconut: Scientist Fabian Antonio Dayrit is proposing a study of coconut oil’s antiviral effect on the novel coronavirus. Photo: PhilStar. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

JAKARTA, Nov 17, 2020, ANTARA. Commission IV of the House of Representatives (DPR) has called on the Agriculture Ministry to issue a regulation for a ban on the exports of whole coconut to meet demand for the domestic industry, ANTARA reported.

During a meeting with echelon I officials of the Agriculture Ministry here on Tuesday, the commission head Sudin stated that the government had encouraged to improve the downstream industry.

However, whole coconut, as a raw material for various processing industries, had been extensively exported to China, he pointed out.

“I urge (the ministry) to issue a ministerial regulation to ban coconut exports because (export) will only benefit certain people. The government has striven to improve the downstream industry, but now, we are facing a shortage of coconut as raw material,” he emphasized.

Sudin remarked that parts of coconut that can be utilized as industry raw material are coconut water, coconut flour, coconut shell, and fibers, all holding high value as semi-processed and processed products.

President Joko Widodo has encouraged investment in the agriculture sector to support the downstream industry that will boost the commodity’s value, he stated.

“However, in fact, the raw material was exported while we are still facing shortages. This is not a good policy,” Sudin pointed out.

According to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), agricultural commodity exports during the period from January to September 2020 has reached US$21.10 billion, comprising US$2.34 billion exports of fresh product and US$18.76 billion of processed products.

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