"Since 2016 when there is a shortage of salt supply, the Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti has submitted import request to maintain price stability," said Center for Indonesia Policy Studies researcher Hezkia Respatiadi in Jakarta on Friday (8/12).
Salt import policy, he said, had to be taken to avoid scarcity that could impact price rises and affect price stability.
The Ministry of Commerce has approved the import of salt to 75,000 tonnes from Australia to keep salt prices steady in the market.
The total national salt demand continues to increase over the past six years. Call it in 2015, from the total requirement of 3.75 million tons, domestic capacity only reached 2.8 million tons. The rest is filled from imports.
Given this fact, Hezekiah called on the government to be realistic by not forcing salt self-sufficiency in 2020.
Land extension plans in a number of salt-producing centers covering tens of thousands of square meters are considered impossible because now Indonesia is starting to lack land for agriculture.
"Indonesia should focus on planting commodities with higher selling value and able to meet domestic demand," he added.
"The government should maintain supply availability and price stability and not apply excessive restrictions on imports," he pleaded.
(sab / JPC)