City to invest in Lampung to secure food supplies
Sita W. Dewi, The Jakarta Post, South Lampung | Jakarta | Thu, April 24 2014, 11:17 AM
The city administration has signed an agreement with the Lampung administration to expand agribusiness in the neighboring province, which is among the main food suppliers to the capital.
Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, accompanied by a number of high-ranking officials overseeing the economy and city-owned market operator PD Pasar Jaya executives, paid an official visit to Lampung on Wednesday.
The visit was a follow-up to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was signed by the two administrations in March.
During the one-day visit, Jokowi and his entourage inspected poultry and cattle farms and an agribusiness terminal in South Lampung regency and a slaughterhouse in Way Laga, Bandar Lampung.
Outgoing Lampung Governor Sjachroedin ZP lauded Jokowi’s commitment to work together in the sector, saying that the cooperation would benefit both sides.
“Such cooperation should be handled by the central government, but the two provinces took care of it instead. This cooperation is about how to complement and benefit each other. I appreciate the governor’s serious commitment to this cooperation,” he said.
Jokowi pointed out that Jakarta, home to over 10 million residents, had high demand, while Lampung had the capacity to meet the capital’s needs.
He added that the cooperation would boost Lampung’s local production to anticipate growing needs.
“Jakarta consumes up to 650,000 chickens a day or about 20 million chickens a month, while Lampung produces 13.5 million chickens a month. So there’s demand and supply. We are thinking about investing here so Lampung can boost production,” Jokowi said during a visit to the poultry farm, adding that produce also included vegetables, fruit and other staple foods.
“Don’t worry, Jakarta has the money,” Jokowi said.
Lampung Chicken Breeders Association chairman Agus Wahyudi said that 70 percent of Lampung’s chickens were distributed locally, while the remaining were sent to Jakarta.
“There are 2,000 chicken breeders in Lampung who are happy to boost production as long as there’s a guaranteed market,” Agus said at the poultry farm in Tegineneng, South Lampung.
Assistant to city secretary for the economy Hasan Basri said 95 percent of Jakarta’s staple foods were sourced from outside the city, with around 25 percent supplied by Lampung.
“Less than 75 percent is supplied by cities on Java island. The downside is that distribution is highly dependent on weather and infrastructure. This cooperation is aimed at ensuring supplies for Jakarta,” Hasan said.
He explained that the city had picked Lampung due to its strategic location.
“It’s the nearest region to Jakarta that has the capacity to meet the capital’s need for staple foods,” he said.
City-owned market operator PD Pasar Jaya, Hasan went on, will play a significant role in the cooperation.
“The cooperation will be overseen by PD Pasar Jaya and Lampung-owned firm PT Wahana Raharja. Pasar Jaya is expected to play a bigger role, not only by renting out kiosks to vendors but also by supplying produce to the vendors so that the city administration can control market prices,” Hasan said.
Jokowi emphasized that the two sides were currently preparing a business cooperation plan.
“We are calculating everything — demand, supply, prices and so on. After the calculations are completed we can talk about investment. Staple food prices in the capital will be lower and controllable because we will be cutting the distribution chain. We also expect to have buffer stock,” he said.
PD Pasar Jaya president director Djangga Lubis expressed the firm’s readiness to oversee the cooperation.
“We’re not going to compete with vendors; we will merely play the role of supplier to vendors. We are ready to work together with Wahana,” he said.
PD Pasar Jaya operates at least 170 traditional markets across the capital, which accommodates thousands of vendors.