West Papua Agricultural Export Potential : Challenges and Opportunities

West Papua

Until 2019, West Papua had five superior commodities that had the potential to be exported abroad, namely wheat flour, Merbau wood, coffee beans, plywood, and vanilla.

They send these commodities to China and the United States.

Challenges and Opportunities West Papua’s Agricultural Export Potential

The Central Statistics Agency reported that the actual export value of West Papua Province in December 2022 was US$296.98 million,

Up 21.15 percent every month compared to the November 2022 period, which was recorded at US$245.14 million.

Even though there are several challenges, there is still some potential to support exports of agricultural products in West Papua, including:

1. The Main Producer of Agricultural Commodities in Eastern Indonesia

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has encouraged West Papua to become a producer of agricultural commodities in eastern Indonesia.

There are 11 thousand hectares of corn plantations throughout the province and 7 million hectares of food and horticultural crops.

Therefore, the President asked the Minister of Agriculture and the Governor of West Papua to further increase agricultural productivity in Sorong Regency and all districts in West Papua.

The President also encourage millennial farmers to be invite and allow to become a driving force in the agricultural sector.

To increase productivity, the government also continues to encourage the use of agricultural technology, increasing access to capital and human resource capacity.

The President expects all of these efforts to be able to increase agricultural productivity in the Sorong and West Papua regions.

2. Have Been Export, Although on a Small Scale

The Ministry of Agriculture’s Quarantine Agency noted, in 2019, the export value of West Papua’s agricultural commodities was around IDR 936.6 billion with a volume of 32,552.2 tons.

Several agricultural commodities are palm kernel kernels, crude palm oil, nutmeg. Mace, sago, ant nests, and red fruit, with delivery destinations to Jakarta and Surabaya.

Export destination countries in 2019 with small shipments or samples are South Korea, Japan, and Malaysia.

Specifically for domestic red fruit demand throughout 2019, 14,899 liters. Were sent to Surabaya and Jakarta with a value of IDR 7.4 billion.

3. The Ministry Continues to Encourage Export Potential

The Minister of Agriculture, Syahrul Yasin Limpo, expressed his optimism. For an increase in the export performance of agricultural products from West Papua.

Although, at present, export cannot be carry out directly. The agricultural products from Sorong and Manokwari have been sent through the ports of Jakarta and Surabaya.

There are various efforts by Syahrul to encourage the achievement of GRATIEKS. Among them is by increasing exports and investment.

This encouragement is through the People’s Business Credit program for farmers and exporters,

various agricultural equipment assistance, export assistance. And acceleration of quarantine services through an inline inspection program.

Syahrul invites all stakeholders, exporters, and the people of West Papua to build optimism. For the use and increase in exports of various potential agricultural commodities at the country’s eastern tip.

He promised that his party would seek to increase agricultural production. Investment, and exports to create advanced, independent, modern Indonesian agriculture.

4. Start Advanced

West Papua has had a laboratory accredited by the National Accreditation Committee (KAN). Since 2019 for testing water content, ash content, fat or oil content, and protein content.

Not only that, but the Agricultural Instrument Standardization Agency also plans to add laboratory scope to support the growth of LSPro.

Meanwhile, the size of LSPro that will be develope is superior to regional products.

So, despite several challenges, West Papua still has the potential to continue exporting. The government must support this in various new ways.