President urges CEOs to design collaborations with big firms, farmers

Jakarta (ANTARA) – President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) urged CEOs to devise collaborations between large businesses and farmers to optimize domestic production, so as to lower the imports of food commodities.

“I call on CEOs to design large collaborations between big companies and farmers, so that we can address the matter of (imports of) commodities that I mentioned earlier,” the president remarked during the online Kompas100 CEO Forum here on Thursday.

The head of state explained that the domestic food sector is still encumbered by the need for imports. Indonesia still has to import sugar, soybeans, corn, and garlic, among other things, in large quantities to meet the domestic demand.

However, the imports should be stopped, as Indonesia has abundant resources. Hence, domestic production capacity must be improved, in terms of both quality and quantity. “(In the past, we did not import) garlic because (farmers) in NTT, Wonosobo, and Temanggung grew garlic. However, now, they do not do it, because they are unable to compete. This must also be addressed,” he stated.

The president deems improvements in the agricultural sector as very important. The agricultural industrial sector is also forecast to be one of the sectors that will continue to survive and recover quickly amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several industrial sectors that will survive the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, included agriculture, pharmaceuticals, technology and financial services, according to Jokowi.

“We also see that nearly 80-85 percent of pharmaceuticals are imported. Why do we not (produce them) in Indonesia. I think in the future, we have a great opportunity, in terms of technology, to build upstream and downstream industries for electric cars, through lithium batteries, as we have nickel. I think we have to see this type of opportunity. It must be pushed, so that we can immediately implement it and make a major contribution to the country,” he affirmed.

Source: Antara News