Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Less directed rattan export policy and declining demand for rattan products in domestic and world markets are threatening the sustainability of the rattan business in the country, Indonesian Rattan Foundation (YRI) chairman Lisman Sumardjani said.
Lisman said here on Sunday that decline in the demand for rattan made products was among other caused by the increasing demand for rattan-imitation goods in the market.
He said that the world demand for rattan-based furniture and rattan-made handicraft products was around US$100-US$104 billion in the 2008-2009 period.
Indonesian rattan-based products could only meet 2.6 billion dollars in 2008 and 2.3 billion dollars in 2009 of the market total market shares, he said.
"This indicates that the market for rattan-based products was open. We should be able to take advantage of the available opportunity," he said.
He said that the absorption capacity of the domestic market for locally made rattan products was only about 30,000 - 40,000 tons this year. This was only about 50 percent of the production capacity which reached 696,000 tons.
Lisaman said that the government so far had no well-directed policy about the rattan business in the country but it only often changed export regulations. And what happened then was the growth of processed-rattan industries was disturbed.
If in 2007 the number of processed rattan industries was 614 units but in 2008 it dropped to 234. This was caused by the declining rattan consumption at home and the banning of raw rattan exports which caused 2.3 million rattan collector farmers to be affected.
"Rattan which was formerly a reliable living source of the locals could no longer be expected to become a source to live on," he said.
Observing this situation, Lisman argued, it could be said that rattan was now facing its immediate extinction. He said that rattan would be sustainable if the world needed it and need rattan-based furniture that would provide benefit to local farmers.
"Farmers will gather rattan only if rattan industries at home grow and develop well. Without all this, the story about Indonesia`s rattan potential which controls 85 percent of the world market would remain only as a story," he said.
According to Lisman, if managed well, Indonesia`s rattan potential could earn an annual income of 2-4 billion dollars a year and could provide jobs for about 5 million people.
Therefore, Lisman asked the government to provide its political support in order to
revive the demand for process rattan products. "Besides, all nation`s components should take part in promoting the use of rattan products, such as the successful promotion of the use of `batik` clothes," he said.(*)