Indonesia's Tea Production Declining

Monday, 28 January, 2013 | 16:12 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: Tea production in Indonesia has continued to fall in the past few years. The current total production is 119,651 tons per year. One of the causes of the decline is the shrinking size of plantation area. "In 2010 the total land area for plantation amounted to 124,400 hectares, but now we only have 123,500 hectares left," Atik Darmadi, Secretary of the Indonesian Tea Association, told Tempo last weekend. 

Because of the low production, the export of tea Indonesia also fell from 95,000 to 75,000 tons. In contrast, tea import has skyrocketed by over 400 percent than in the last 15 years.

Gamal Nasir, Director General of Plantation, said that this year the Agriculture Ministry is allotting Rp 3.5 billion to increase production, productivity and quality of tea in three provinces. "Especially for West Java because 70 percent of our tea production comes from there, followed by Lampung and West Sumatra," he said.

In addition to increasing production volume, Indonesia together with India, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Malawi, and Rwanda, has agreed to regulate supply and demand to secure prices. The six countries account for more than 50 percent of global tea production.

At the moment, Indonesia's tea is sold for a maximum of US$ 2 per kilogram in international markets. The average price of international tea is around US$ 3 per kilogram. Indonesia is considered unable to tap into the global market by improving the quality of its tea.

The government has set this year's tea production target at 165 thousand tons. Lan expansion for te plantation is targeted to increase by five percent, or about 575 hectares.

ROSALINA

Source: Tempo Interactive