Government increases supervision of coasts prone to farm commodity smuggling

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Agricultural Quarantine Board (Barantan) of the Agriculture Ministry is cooperating with the Indonesian military and police in supervising the countrys coasts prone to attempts of smuggling farm commodities.

Apart from border checkpoints, the coastal areas of Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Nusa Tenggara Islands have become the focus of Barantans supervision ahead of Christmas and the New Year holidays, Barantan Chief Banun Harpini noted in a written statement released on Friday.

"This is the task we are fulfilling in cooperation with security personnel from the Indonesian Police, Army, and Navy," he noted.

The attempt to smuggle farm commodities, whose health and security cannot be guaranteed, not only poses threat to the entry of animal and plant diseases but also endangers the health of the people consuming them, he noted.

In addition, the entry of illegal farm commodities may lead to their oversupply in the market at the expense of the local farmers interests, he remarked.

In line with the agriculture ministers policy to create food sovereignty by improving the farmers living standard, Barantan is stepping up its supervision of farm commodities at the entry and exit points, he noted.

To date, Barantan has 52 technical operation units (UPTs) at 334 seaports, post offices, airports, and ferry ports across the country to take farm quarantine measures. Of the total, 14 UPTs oversee 51 land border checkpoints and 35 sea border checkpoints.

The higher the frequency of quarantine animal pest and disease carriers and quarantine plant disturbing organisms as well as farm commodity trade, the higher will be the risk of animal and plant diseases entering Indonesia, he stated.

The cooperation between Barantan, the National Police, Army, and Navy is laid down in a cooperation agreement to protect the country against the entry of illegal farm commodities.

Data from the Center for Quarantine Compliance, Cooperation and Information show 8,701 tons of farm commodities from 216 cases were denied entry into Indonesia in the past four years.

Source: ANTARA News

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