Meet & Greet with the Indonesian Agriculture Trade Partners
Agriculture and Food sector becomes one of key issues in times of pandemic like today. While the production and supply of food are relatively not affected by the global health crisis, some countries face different challenges such as workers shortage, processing and logistics facilities, as well as distribution. Various measures put in place to contain the spread of the virus have been disrupting the supply of agro-food products to markets and consumers, both within and across borders.
What about the agriculture trade between the Netherlands and Indonesia?
So as to make sure that we have the latest update on this, the Netherlands Embassy conducted a virtual Meet & Greet with the Indonesian Agriculture Trade Partners on 23 June 2021, local time. The Agriculture Counsellor Joost van Uum led the discussion to exchange views on recent developments in the sector from the consumers’ perspectives, to jointly find our common goals on how we can work together in order to satisfy the market demand while identify market potentials for the Dutch agricultural products.
Bilateral Trade of the Netherlands - Indonesia
A huge consumers market in Indonesia that requires good quality and nutritious food products -both fresh produces and processed food- continues to attract foreign exporters. Since the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 solely, the Indonesian imports from the Netherlands presented sixty one thousand tons of agricultural commodities volume. This amount is worth USD 148,651,699.00.
While within January – March 2021, the Netherlands agricultural supply to Indonesia recorded almost 22 thousand tons or USD 48,593,965.00.
Both data confirmed the highest supply comes from horticulture including seeds, livestock as well as animal products and by-products, food crops and mostly finish products from plantation crops.
Interestingly, we are aware of fundamental identity that our countries share – both Indonesia and the Netherlands are agriculture producer and exporter, and unquestionably they will remain that way in the future. Looking ahead, COVID-19 offers an opportunity to enhance the affluent bilateral trade as well as the resilience, sustainability, and productivity of the agriculture and food sector in both the Netherlands and Indonesia; and it is our task in the Netherlands embassy to help facilitate this achievement in collaboration with the trade and business partners in Indonesia.
How the Agrifood sector survives the crisis?
The 2021 OECD’s Economic Survey on the Netherlands described on how the country is recovering from its largest economic contraction since the Second World War. The Dutch government swiftly implemented a comprehensive support package, and extended and adjusted the measures several times in response to prolonged restrictions. However, in terms of international trade, as the second largest agriculture exporter in the world the Netherlands remains committed to supply agricultural commodities to foreign markets despite these global disruptions. For the Netherlands, it is not the time to return to the old restrictive ways. It is the time to build a new future that is based on sustainable principles.
Like in many parts of the world, the agriculture sector in Indonesia is experiencing a substantial shift in the composition too, and – for some commodities – the level of demand. Economically the pandemic has impeded the purchasing power of many Indonesians; thus priority has shifted to health products and healthy consumption pattern. The government and the communities are turning more seriously to the agriculture sector in order to make sure that they have enough food supply for the increasing demand of home-cooking foods. Moreover, constructive impacts in the agrifood sector in Indonesia encounter the increasing number of young farmers in the upstream and along the downstream levels. While many countries try to restrict its agrifood produces from export to foreign market, Indonesian government remains vigilant with its threefold export programs in agriculture.
Keep international markets in agriculture and food products open
The COVID-19 pandemic may have implications over the short and long term for agrifood sector, and a coherent package of policy adjustments and/or reforms is needed and has been issued respectively. Nevertheless, the Netherlands and Indonesia definitely share the same attitude of turning the crisis into opportunities – as the #BuildBackBetter that has become the new mantra for post-COVID-19 hopes and ambitions.
- Indonesia’s agriculture import from the Netherlands (database of the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture http://database.pertanian.go.id/eksim2012/impornegaraasal.php)
- 2021 OECD’s Economic Survey on the Netherlands (https://www.oecd.org/economy/netherlands-economic-snapshot/)
- Young Indonesian farmers thrive during the Covid-19 pandemic (https://www.agroberichtenbuitenland.nl/actueel/nieuws/2021/04/13/young-indonesian-farmers-thrive-during-the-covid-19-pandemic)