August 13, 2016
Indonesia eyes Spain, Latin America as beef sources
In an effort to lower prices of beef, Indonesia is looking to import beef from Spain and Latin American countries including Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, a local daily said.
This month Indonesia, for the first time, imported 10,000 tonnes of buffalo meat from India. Indonesia has mainly sourced its beef imports from Australia.
"We will soon open the opportunity this year; G-to-G [government-to-government support] will be sought," newly installed Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Post on Wednesday, August 10. He added that hopefully an "equilibrium price" would be achieved.
The Ministry of Agriculture has signed a memorandum of understanding with a Latin American country, which was not identified, for the importation of over 10,000 tonnes of beef, the ministry's head, Amran Sulaiman, said, according to the Indonesian daily.
The government aims to bring the price of beef down to Rp80,000 per kilogramme (US$6.1) from the current range of Rp100,000 to Rp130,000 per kg.
The government's move to diversify beef import sources has been criticized as merely "emergency action".
"The government should start thinking of developing domestic beef production, which is the main issue that hasn't been touched," said Rochadi Tawaf, a cattle expert from Padjadjaran University.