PONTIANAK, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia has set itself the target of exporting horticultural products to Australia, Agriculture Minister Suswono said. “We have made various approaches, including preparing a legal basis,” he said on the sidelines of working visit here on Thursday. Australia could not yet import Indonesian horticultural products due among others to their security level, he said. “As a matter of fact, a variety of our horticultural products have penetrated the overseas market. It is only Australia which has not imported them,” he said. The horticultural products include manggis, salak and avocado. The government is in the process of drafting a law on horticultural protection as part of efforts to lay a legal basis for the protection of horticultural products, he said.
“(The plan to enact) horticultural law has been contained in the national legislation program (Prolegnas). In addition, we also need a legal umbrella in the form of presidential regulation,” he said. It took long time for Indonesia to export salak fruit to China. “Thank God our salak fruit can now penetrate China as a result of hard work,” he said. The same was also true with Indonesian manggis fruit which could now penetrate the Japanese market, he said. “To export fruits to Australia we have actively held negotiations (with Australian officials) about what terms and conditions must be met. By doing so, they will no longer have reasons to reject our horticultural products,” he said.