TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Sumenep district government, East Java, could not do many things to overcome dropping prices of salt in 2014. “We don't have the authority on its prices, we can only monitor companies' salt absorbing power,” said the Sumenep Industrial and Trading Agency's industrial unit chief, Agus Eka Haryadi to Tempo, Saturday, August 16.
According to Agus, salt prices depend on market demand. If there was high supply of salt, prices will drop. Regional governments, he said, are also not authorized to sanction salt companies that purchase salt from farmers under the basic price (HPP). “The one who is entitled to sanction them is the central government,” he said.
Previously, salt farmers in Nambokar village, Saronggi subdistrict, had complained about the companies' low purchasing price, which is approximately Rp350 per kilogram. “Whether good or bad quality of salt, it is bought at that price,” said Mahram, a salt farmer.
When in fact, he said, the government has set the salt production basic prices, for first quality (K1) Rp750 per kilogram, second quality (K2) Rp550 per kilogram, and Rp450 for third quality (K3). “The price is below the HPP, and the salt quality is actualy good now,” he continued.