Hipmi Suspects Cartel Practices in Garlic Imports
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Young Entrepreneurs Association (Hipmi) suspected cartel practices in garlic imports with increasingly strong support ahead of the 2024 general elections.
Head of Hipmi for Agriculture, Plantation, and Animal Husbandry, M. Hadi Nainggolan, said that Indonesia is highly dependent on imported garlic, which often becomes a playground for mafia.
“Only a few companies that are mutually related get benefit from the garlic import quota,” Hadi said in a written statement on Wednesday, May 24, 2023.
He cited data from the Agriculture Ministry that the national garlic consumption need in 2023 amounts to 560,000 tons. Meanwhile, domestic garlic production in 2020 only reached 81,800 tons.
“Hipmi indicates that the garlic import cartel has increasingly strong backing ahead of the elections, including the 2024 elections,” Hadi added.
He hoped that the government and law enforcers will act decisively to maintain a healthier trade system. Moreover, garlic is one of the basic needs in Indonesia.
Garlic is often expensive and only available in short supply, leading to inflation. According to him, this indicates cartel practices by the garlic mafia, as well as other horticultural commodities.
“Hipmi expects the government to involve business actors and associations to hear various inputs regarding the trading system for imported garlic and horticultural commodities to make it more transparent,” Hadi said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chairman of the Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) Guntur Syahputra Saragih said that his side has not yet found any cartel practices in garlic imports. But he acknowledged that it is prone to cartel practices.
RIANI SANUSI PUTRI