The Jakarta Post, JAKARTA
Indonesia may this year be in for a 45 percent increase in fishery output, from a year earlier, on the back of a government revitalization program and rising demand, in particular from the domestic market.
The Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries has set the fishery production target at 12.78 million tons, significantly up from last year’s 8.71 million tons.
The 2008’s figure was a 6 percent rise from 2007.
“We hope to achieve the target by revitalizing the fishery sector,” Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Minister Freddy Numberi said last week. For example, he said, the ministry will build 91 additional fish landing locations and rehabilitate the 51 existing ones.
He said the sector would also benefit from growth in the domestic market, as seen from last year’s domestic fish consumption which rose by almost 10 percent from 26 kilograms per capita per year to 28 kilograms.
“The nation succeeded in achieving the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) target for fish consumption, which is between 20 and 30 kilograms,” Freddy said, adding that reduced fish prices had encouraged more people to eat fish regularly.
Aside from netting profits in domestic markets, the ministry is also targeting $2.8 billion in fishery exports this year, increasing from last year’s $2.6 billion.
“Last year we managed to boost export volumes by five percent and export value by 13 percent,” Freddy said, adding that the estimated export volume for last year was around 900,000 tons as compared to 854,000 in 2007.
“We also hope to increase the use of fish processing units rise to 70 percent from last year’s 55 percent,” he said.
According to Freddy, the fishery industry remains quite promising although it still has a long way to go in reducing national poverty.
Business associations played a vital part in last year’s achievements, he said. More than 40 companies invested Rp 2.56 trillion in fishery businesses, creating work for almost 5,000 people.
The fuel price reductions also played a role in improving fishery operations, Freddy added, as the sector consumes almost two million kiloliters for fishing boats per year.
The Ministry has requested a fuel quota of 2.5 million kiloliters from state-owned oil company PT Pertamina. “However, if we don’t get it, it will not be such a big problem.”
However, the fishery sector must be aware of the expected fall in export values this year due to the global economic downturn. (dis)