Indonesian fruit exports rise 43% in Q1
Exotic products like snake fruit and mangosteen were Indonesia's major fruit exports in the first quarter of 2011, with total shipment values rising 43% compared to the same period last year to US$87.4 million, website Jakartapost.com reported.
Exporters of Fruits and Vegetables Association chair Hasan Widjaja, said Indonesia had an advantage with snake fruit, also known as salak, as it was the only country that produced the fruit, the story reported.
"Indonesia could export about one ton of salak every week to Singapore and up to seven tons per week to China," Widjaja was quoted as saying.
The story reported while the country's fruit exports have been picking up, local production of mangoes, oranges and durians has fallen.
Indonesian Chamber of Commerce official Handito Joewono, told the Jakarta Post the country's fruit industry was not competitive enough due to a lack of technology to keep fruit ripe for shipping.
Handito called on the government to pay more 'serious attention' to the fruit industry as imported fruit dominated the local market. According to figures from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), fruit imports rose from US$78 million in January 2010 to US$128 million during the same month in 2011, the story reported.
Widjaja told the Jakarta Post Chinese imports were of better quality and cheaper than local produce.
Indonesian legislators have also sought to temporarily halt fruit and vegetable imports from Europe due to the E. coli outbreak.
Photo: Flickr, Goosmurf