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Indonesia aims for zero imports of garlic in 2018

The government is looking to achieve its goal of zero garlic imports in 2018, following an expansion of garlic farms across the country.

“We aim to see 100,000 hectares of garlic farms next year. If 1 hectare [ha] can produce 5 tons of garlic, we won’t need to import anymore,” Agriculture Ministry spokesperson Agung Hendriadi told over the phone on Tuesday.

Annual garlic consumption for household and industrial needs reached 500,000 tons in 2015, but only 20,000 tons of it was planted domestically. The remaining 480,000 tons were imported from China and India, ministry data shows.

Last year, the government expanded garlic farms, which jacked up the national production of garlic to almost 200,000 tons.

Indonesia in the 1990s supplied most of its garlic to the domestic market, but gradually the farmers were discouraged from planting it due to a continuous decline in prices. Now, there are only 2,000 ha of garlic plantations, a massive decrease from the 28,000 ha of plantations in the 1990s.

Agung also said that the Trade Ministry had set maximum price of Rp 38,000 per kilogram for garlic and would maintain the price to encourage farmers to cultivate garlic.

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