Ministy pins hopes on N.Sumatra for coffee export

Apriadi Gunawan

THE JAKARTA POST / MEDAN

The Agriculture Ministry is pinning its hopes on North Sumatra for a rebound in Indonesia's Arabica coffee bean exports after the province shipped Rp. 72.9 billion (US$ 5.15 million) worth of the commodity recently. 

North Sumatra, known for its Mandailing, Lintong and Sidikalang coffee varieties, `exported 819 tons of beans to the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Romania, Japan, Canada, Belgium, Mexico, Taiwan, China, Australia and Singapore. 

Indonesia has seen fluctuating coffee exports since 2010 according to data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS). The largest export was in 2013 with 534,000 tons of beans, valued at $1.174 million. In 2017, Indonesia exported 467,800 tons of beans worth $1,187 million, according to BPS.

Indonesia produced 653,000 tons of coffee in 2017, according to Indonesia Plantation Statistics. South Sumatra held the largest proportion of coffee exports with 22 percent, followed by Lampung 21 percent. North Sumatra accounted for 8 percent of the total exports, the data showed. However, South Sumatra needed some improvements in its coffee industry to achieve a premium quality of export standard.

Improvements were needed, for example, in the planting system at the farmer level, harvest, post-harvest technology, as well as branding for particular produce such as Pagaralam or Semendo coffee to be introduced to the international market under a marketable brand. 

South Sumatra's Pagaralam and Semendo coffee is to be introduced through the World Barista Championship & World Brewers Cup in Boston on April 14, according to Indonesian Special Coffee Association chairman Syafruddin.

"We will make South Sumatra coffee wel known" he said.

Source: The Jakarta Post