Fighting the Food Cartel with the Spirit of Farming Day

By : Wiyanto Dan Aldo Bella Putra | Saturday, June 23 2018 - 19:30 IWST

Mentan Amran Andi Sulaiman menghadiri panen pedet di Magetan, Jatim.
Mentan Amran Andi Sulaiman menghadiri panen pedet di Magetan, Jatim.

INDUSTRY.co.id - Jakarta - Hari Krida Pertanian 2018 which falls every June 21 to become the right momentum for the Ministry of Agriculture to seriously combat the practice of the cartel that became a scourge in the food sector of Indonesia.

Not only is it harmful to the interests of the public, the food cartel destroys and disrupts the nation's own sovereignty. Therefore, food sovereignty is identical with the sovereignty of the nation.

Learning from the spirit of Hari Krida inspired from the beginning of the first season of the twelve prey season seasons, all the components of the nation moving in the agricultural sector should initiate this dating cycle with the spirit of improvement and improvement. More than a lot of revamping of the agricultural sector to boost national food production, revamping the trading system and distribution also need firmness.

Step Kongkrit

Right on the birthday of Pancasila, June 1, Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman blacklisted five garlic importer companies for committing violations in the form of imports not in accordance with the designation, toying prices, and manipulating mandatory planting. The five companies are PT. PTI, PT. TSR, PT. CGM, PT. FMT and PT. ASJ. The owner of the company has even been designated as a suspect by the Police Headquarters. Minister of Agriculture for example estimates garlic importers can reap profits up to trillions of rupiah in a year by manipulating prices.

Especially for the acceleration of self-sufficiency of garlic, in the next three years, Kementan has issued Agricultural Regulation No. 38 of 2017. The regulation, Kementan requires business entrepreneurs to plant and produce garlic as much as 5% of the volume of application for Horticultural Product Import Recommendation (RIPH).

Realizing that import permits in the past seemed to be commonly used to seek official tributes, the Minister of Agriculture did not want to fall into the same pit. Kementan step to clean up the food mafia has started, and should not stop. In the minutes of the Minister of Agriculture, 1,295 Agricultural Ministry officials have been demoted, mutated and even fired, including two Echelon I officials who were dismissed for corruption cases. This is to ensure the Ministry of Agriculture is credible and trusted to eliminate the food mafia.

In 2017, Task Force (Satgas) of Food consisting of Police Headquarters, Kementan, and Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) raided PT Info Beras Unggul rice mill at Jalan Rengasbandung Km 60, Kedungwaringin, Bekasi. In the raid, rice as much as 1,162 tons of IR 64 species that will be used as premium rice and sold at triple prices in the market successfully secured. The police noted that the packaging label written carbohydrate content in rice was 25 percent, while based on laboratory test results carbohydrate content of 81.45 percent.

Guarding the Spirit

The assertiveness of the Minister of Agriculture is an effort to protect millions of the stomach of this nation, and therefore need the support of many parties. No matter how much our farmers work, the food mafia will look for loopholes for personal and group benefits.

Seeing the tantalizing profits in an instant way, it's no wonder that cartel practices are hard to eradicate. The cartel perpetrators will try to counter the resistance, including bribe policy makers, data manipulation, and to stop all efforts of the government to achieve self-sufficiency.

The practice of the real cartel makes the market mechanism not working properly. Farmers as food producers lose money because of too low prices, the wider community as consumers are also disadvantaged because the food prices are too high. Touching the dark side between the two is the right solution.

A number of steps are needed to address this issue in addition to legal action or enforcement, among others, firstly, the government's commitment to create integrated data in policy-making. Second, the synergy between ministries and agencies in preventing cartel practices. Third, the involvement of agricultural observers and the media in building optimism to the community.

Without realizing the importance of the latter, it is difficult to involve the community in building our food sovereignty. When the harvest season comes, cartel actors make an opinion in the community that the production is not sufficient to meet the needs or quality standards so that imports are needed. This opinion is reaffirmed by market prices that anomalously surged, the mafia usually hoard food to recognize the supply and price. Society seemed to be invited to agree on the interests of the cartel.

Like the astronomically energizing sun of today (at the north / north latitude of 23.50). Appropriately, we can illuminate the dark side of the practice of agricultural business activities. At the same time provide incentives the spirit of agricultural activists to meet the needs of Indonesia's food. To the extent that our efforts and efforts to raise agricultural productivity, prosper the farmers, and modernize the food system, will not be enough because the cartel practice will break everything. Happy Farming Day

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