Medan, N. Sumatra (ANTARA News) - The central government still allows North Sumatra province to continue importing salt since supply of Madura salt fails to meet demand in the province.
"While the central government still allows North Sumatra to import salt, businessmen in the province continue to import salt to meet the household and industrial needs," Idayani Pane, an official of Agro Chemical Industries Development Service Forest Products (IKAHH), North Sumatra office of commerce and industry said here on Sunday.
When asked to confirm about the imported salt coming through Belawan harbour, Indayani claimed that in January and March, 2011 imported salt from India arrived in Medan amounting to 14,000 tons and 26,975 tons respectively.
In last January, the salt was imported for the needs of food and beverage industry, while in March was intended for consumption needs, she said, adding that the import was conducted by PT Garindo.
The last salt supply from Madura (the salt producing area in East Java) entered Medan at the end of December 2010 amounting to 5,500 tons, she cited.
According to her, tight salt supply from Madura due to the impact of weather anomalies that make the crop failure in Indonesia`s salt-producing areas.
It is expected that the amount of imported salt coming to North Sumatra will increase in the future, because some regions rely on North Sumatra as salt supplier to other areas.
Businessmen from Aceh, Riau, South Sumatra, even from Java island prefer to buy salt from North Sumatra instead of directly import it from India or Australia for lower cost reason.