July 25, 2022


Indonesia seeks to expand chicken export business to more countries


As Indonesia begins to export chicken to Singapore, poultry companies in the country must take additional steps to boost operations and improve competitiveness so they can export chickens to more countries, The Star reported.


Indonesian poultry exports have been restricted to a small number of nations as producers prioritise the enormous domestic market, which is home to more than 270 million people.


Indonesia exports chicken not only to Singapore but also to Japan, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, and Qatar.


However, the fourth-most populous country in the world has been dealing with a chicken supply shortage for a while.


This year, it is predicted that there will be 3.8 billion chickens produced compared to the 2.9 billion that will be needed, leaving a surplus of about 900 million.


When faced with an annual production surplus, poultry producers should sell their products abroad, experts and business leaders told The Straits Times.


There are difficulties, though, such as logistical problems, particularly with the export of live birds, the high cost of chicken feed, and strict requirements in the destination nations.


Dr. Bayu Krisnamurthi, the head of the Indonesian Agribusiness Association, said for example, the mode of transportation is the main barrier for Indonesian businesses hoping to export live chicken to Singapore.


He made a comparison between Indonesia and Malaysia, where poultry producers could deliver supplies to Singapore by land, which is faster and less expensive. He said technically, they can send live chicken to Singapore by sea, but it is not as efficient as delivering them by land.


Live chicken shipping by sea can also cause problems for the welfare of the animals.


He said the livestock are housed in a small, cramped area on a ship, and have to deal with waves and other maritime conditions.


Achmad Dawami, chairman of the Indonesian Poultry Breeder Association, said the risk of weight loss is also high, and the chickens may become dehydrated. During transportation, there is also an increased risk of death.


One solution, according to experts and industry players, is for poultry companies to operate farms closer to Singapore, like in the Riau Islands and North Sumatra.


Professor Arief Daryanto, a development economics lecturer at the Bogor Agricultural University, said poultry farmers must also raise standards in areas like hygiene and establish adequate infrastructure to support both production and distribution.


He said modernisation on and off farms is essential. It is impossible for them to export chicken if they don't have a cold chain system. Indonesia's farms must adopt good agricultural practises as well as good handling practises if they want to export to Singapore.


Prof. Arief and Achmad concurred that the sector must also strengthen its competitive edge, particularly by reducing production costs, which are primarily made up of chicken feed at a rate of 70%.


Prof. Arief said to reduce the cost of chicken feed, advanced technology should be used. For instance, he said some research indicates that by-products of palm oil can be used.


Achmad emphasised the need for poultry farmers to not rely heavily on imported feed. For instance, other protein sources can be used in place of soybean meal.


In the future, processed chicken products like nuggets, sausages, and satay will dominate Indonesia's exports of chicken to Singapore and other markets.


Professor Arief said further processing is necessary for their competitiveness. In Indonesia, the processing sector needs to be expanded, adding that manufacturers must create a seamless supply chain with the appropriate infrastructure, including cold storage and distribution facilities.


Selling chicken to Singapore, which has strict regulations regarding things like food safety and animal health, will teach Indonesian businesses looking to expand overseas a valuable lesson.


-      The Star

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