Government’s goal to independently suffice national salt need meet an obstacle. This month should be harvest season for salt farmers in Madura however according to the report salt price is anticipated to plummet due to the coming of imported salt from India. Investigation by the Minister of Oceanic and Fisheries shows that one of salt importer, PT Budiono Madura Bangun Persada breaches the rules for importing salt. Investigation result shows that salt imported, as much as 21.042 MT, by this company is for consumption purposes instead of industrial; as agreed upon with the government. The huge amount of imported salt can threaten domestic price level which then will cause loss to local farmers.
According to government regulation stated in Regulation on Salt Import by Ministry of Trade and Commerce No. 44/MDAG/PER/10/2007 article 3 verse no. 2: salt for consumption purposes (iodized salt) is heavily restricted to be imported 1 month before the harvest season until 2 months after the season. Or, stated otherwise, from July to December 2011
Currently there are 11 big companies importing salt to Indonesia from various Asian countries. Those are PT. Sumatraco Langgeng Makmur, PT. Sumatraco Langgeng Abadi, PT. Garindo Sejahtera Abadi, PT.Pagarin Anugerah Sejahtera, PT. Garam, PT. Elitstar Prima Jaya, PT. Budiono Madura Bangun Persada, PT. Susanti Megah, PT. Mitratani Dua Tujuh, PT. Otsuka Indonesia and PT. Pabrik Kertas Tjiwi Kimia. It is recorded 1.07 million tons of salt is imported, coming to Indonesia from 2 ports, Tanjung Perak and Kalianget.
Government of Indonesia plans to independently suffice national needs of salt through its program so called National Salt Self-Sufficiency Program. This program aimed to be implemented by 2014.
For a start, government will decrease salt import consecutively from 2.187 million in 2010 to 1.022 million tons by 2011. This reduction is done as an effort to achieve self supporting target by 2014. Salt that has been imported to Indonesia until the year 2009 mainly come from Australia (1.39 mio tons), followed by India (257.9 thousand tons), China (51 thousand tons), New Zealand (1.118 ton) and others (35.759 thousand tons) (Source: National News Bureau, Antara). Moreover, government has chosen 40 cities to be the central production of salt in Madura with a total land area of 19,822 acres. Salt produced from these cities is targeted to reach 1.561 million tons, 687.238 thousand tons. Until early September 2011, production has reached 308.355 thousand tons and 133.457 thousand of those have been absorbed by the market. Current stock is 174.898 thousand tons. It is predicted this year’s harvest will reach the target.
The strategies for this master plan are first to intensively support facilities needed by salt industry such as rehabilitation of salt dikes, warehouses/storage houses, windmills and improving the quality of additive substances used for salt. Secondly is to revitalize the facilities that are to carefully support the infrastructural development for this industry. Last but not least is to conduct continuous innovation on the varieties of additive substances. Government invests 90 billion rupiahs for this program. It puts high hope on this master plan of national salt self sufficiency as it will help the economy from supply side means Indonesia is one step closer to supply economy. This will hopefully strengthen its economic fundamental instead of just counting on consumption sector.