Minister of Marine Affairs links with Ministry of Villages for marine potentials

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Edhy Prabowo, Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries. (Photo: Gigih/IO)

IO – “Indonesia’s coastal residents have not optimized the potentials of our seas, even though they are massive,” observed Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Edhy Prabowo in a virtual joint meeting between the Research and Human Resources Agency (Badan Riset dan Sumber Daya Manusia – “BRSDM”) and the Marine and Fishery Business Capital Agency’s Public Service Division (Badan Layanan Umum Lembaga Pengelola Modal Usaha Kelautan dan Perikanan – “BLU-LPMUKP”) on Monday (26/10/2020). “A 2,000 square meter shrimp cultivation complex can generate a harvest of 12-15 tons a year. Our studies show that we have generated at least 10.8 tons shrimp in each harvest with a density of 200 individual shrimps/m3 of water. It’s already good if a shrimp cultivation complex half this size, or 1,000 square meters, can produce 3-5 tons a year.” 

If we set a reference production rate of 10 tons a year, shrimp cultivators can generate IDR 600 million annually, at a price level of IDR 60,000.00 for each 1 kg/35 shrimp. If shrimp average price is IDR 80,000.00/kg, they can earn up to IDR 800 million a year. 50% of the IDR 600 million is enough to cover production and operation costs, including cultivator’s wages. “According to the Directorate General of Cultivation, even half of the total gross earnings or IDR 300 million is more than enough to repay loans. Credit from the Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration budget can offer money at zero interest. A loan from the BLU-LPMUKP can be accessed at 3% interest per annum, or from the People’s Entrepreneurial Credit (Kredit Usaha Rakyat – “KUR”) has 6% interest per annum,” Edhy said. “Let’s say we use IDR 250 million of the harvest income after taxes and costs to repay loans. That leaves us with IDR 50 million to save a year. Even a Minister may not be able to save IDR 50 million a year, unless he has a side business like a restaurant or some such. I believe that even people like the Head of the Quarantine Agency have a hard time to save that amount. In truth, public servants like us cannot get much money if we go strictly by the rules.” 

Edhy stated that if the test on 1 hectare out of the 50 hectares of land belonging to the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fishery goes well, when a market is found for its products, the BLU will easily fund not just IDR 1 billion, but IDR 10 billion for the entire enterprise. “The standard reference capital funding, including business capital, will be IDR 2 billion for each hectare of land, with a maximum budget of IDR 10 billion,” he said. “The fact that the global shrimp market is still wide open is an opportunity for Indonesia to be able to catch up with our lack in satisfying the needs of global markets. We only make use of 7% of land for fish cultivation, and that leaves a lot of room for improvement. In fact, I heard that several regions only harvest 1-2 tons from each hectare of land in each harvest, while we can generate up to 40 tons of production with proper intensification efforts. That way, each harvest can generate IDR 2.4 billion (40 tons x IDR 60,000.00); isn’t that more than sufficient for return of investments?” 

Edhy elaborated that cultivation ponds can be intensified if the unused land is utilized for breeding crabs or different types of shrimps. He suggests that the Directorate General stop separating fishermen transmigrants into “catch fishing” and “cultivation fishing” fishermen transmigrants, because they should be able to do both work simultaneously. For example, a transmigrant given 1 ha of land can both catch fish at sea and use his/her land to plant seaweed. S/he can generate 10 tons of dried seaweed a year. With a sales price of IDR 10,000.00/kg, s/ he will earn IDR 100 million a year. 

Edhy went on to say that the cooperation between the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fishery and the Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration is a breakthrough effort. “This is not our first cooperation either. The Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fishery has cooperated with the Police and the Chief of Staff of the Navy, as well as with other ministries. In this way, we can strengthen our spirit and accelerate the implementation of President Joko Widodo’s directive, i.e. to achieve the people’s welfare and smiles,” he said. (dan)