The Indonesian region of North Sumatra has suffered a sharp decline in its cabbage exports over the past two years. Currently, it is trying to revive exports of the produce with assistance from the Agriculture Ministry and the provincial administration.
Ali Jamil, the head of the ministry’s Agriculture Quarantine Agency (Barantan), recently said the agency had been providing technical assistance to farmers since early this year to meet the tightened export requirements of destination countries.
He said the province's cabbage exports had declined sharply over the last two years because the frequent eruptions of Mount Sinabung had affected the produce's quality. At the same time, major importers like Japan, South Korea and Singapore had tightened their requirements for imported agricultural products. North Sumatra also exports cabbage to Taiwan and Malaysia.
The ministry recorded a steady increase in the province’s cabbage exports from 11,747 tons in 2012, worth Rp35 billion (US$2.45 million) to 32,680 tons in 2016, worth Rp98 billion. However, cabbage exports then plunged to 18,459 tons (Rp55 billion) in 2017 and to 15,228 tons (Rp46 billion) in 2018.
North Sumatra shipped 50.2 tons of cabbage in February to Malaysia through Medan's Belawan Port. The province also exported 19 other products with a total value of Rp 272 billion, including 13,620 tons of crude palm oil, 789 tons of coffee beans, 208 tons of pine sap, 125 tons of cinnamon and 1.5 tons of areca nuts.