Jakarta, (ANTARA News) - Fruit imported from China has over the past few years taken over the dominant position of US and Australian fruit in the Indonesian market, a horticulure researcher said.
Such fruits as apples, oranges or pears in the Indonesian market in the past always came from the US or Australia but over the past few years they have been replaced by products from China, Roesdhy Poerwanto, chairman of Tropical Fruit Studies, said in Bogor on Thursday.
"Fruit from China is now not only seen in modern markets but also at stalls of roadside vendors," Poerwanto said at a meeting of agriculture public relations officers organized by the agriculture ministry's directorate general of horticulture.
Fruit imported from the US and Australia was now only seen in upper-class modern markets, he said.
Chinese fruit was allowed to enter the Indonesian market on a massive scale based on the ASEAN +3 charter on trade. Under one of the charter's articles, China would scrap its import tax on palm oil from Indonesia and , in return, Indonesia would open its market to Chinese fruit and impose zero percent tax on the imports.
Asked about the volume of Chinese fruit that had already entered Indonesia, Poerwanto said he did not know the exact figure but the overall volume of imported fruit was still less than five percent of national fruit production.
Based on data from the agriculture ministry , production of Indonesian fruit in 2006 was 16.2 million tons while the volume of its fruit exports was about 15.000 tons a year.
Asked about the steps that could be taken to prevent the domestic market from being flooded by Chinese fruit, he said in the era of globalization, it was impossible to ban any foreign commodity to enter the country's market.
However, he added, his ministry had prepared a concept to prevent the fruit flooding issue by referring it to consumer protection.
"We will ensure that products entering the country are safe to consume," he said.