Riani Sanusi Putri, Jakarta – The National Food Agency (Bapanas) responded to the maladministration findings from the Ombudsman regarding garlic imports. The head of Bapanas Arief Prasetyo Adi stated that his agency supported the Ombudsman's recommendation to improve national food management.
"Responding to the Ombudsman's concern on the process of garlic imports, we affirm that Bapanas is focusing on the calculation of national requirements and comparing it to the production projection," he said as quoted from a written statement on Thursday, October 19, 2023.
The Acting Minister of Agriculture explained that Bapanas has the duty to form an accurate calculation to find out the appropriate amount of importation to fulfill the national requirement. According to Arief, the calculation going forward will improve in accuracy since it's being conducted in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture.
Furthermore, Arief stated that his agency will try to create balance in the food ecosystem from upstream to downstream. He also stressed that the import realization will not hurt the prices set by farmers. As for the imports, they need flexibility in the prices to adapt to much lower prices in Indonesia.
Arief stated that the recommendation by the Ombudsman to improve the garlic import process will be internalized. The import quota for garlic will be limited to avoid overstock. The government will also maintain the buffer stock of national food requirements.
Meanwhile, the need for garlic necessitated foreign production since domestic production was inadequate. Indonesia requires over 55,700 tonnes of garlic per month or 669,000 tonnes per year. However, Indonesia's garlic production for garlic is 23,000 tonnes this year, far from enough.