Jakarta (ANTARA) - World's leading poultry producers such as the United States and Brazil are eyeing Indonesia's vast market for chicken and eggs, said a professor of the Bogor Agriculture University (IPB), Bungaran Saragih, on Wednesday, adding that the fast-growing Indonesian population would boost the consumption of chicken and eggs.
By 2045, the country's population is expected to reach 318 million with a per capita income of some US$29 thousand, he said during a discussion about the poultry industry.
"The increase in population and income will boost the consumption of chicken and eggs in Indonesia," he said.
In 2018, Indonesia's chicken consumption only recorded 7.6 kilograms per capita, or half of the world's average consumption at 14.2 kg per capita.
It was still far below the consumption in Malaysia that has reached 48.7 kg per capita, or six times higher than the consumption in Indonesia.
"With an assumption that the consumption of chicken in Indonesia in 2045 can reach the same level as Malaysia's current consumption, it means that the demand for chicken in Indonesia will reach at least 12 billion kg per year," Saragih said.
Brazil and other poultry producing countries have tried hard to penetrate the Indonesian poultry market. Brazil challenged Indonesia over the issue of chicken import at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2014 and won the dispute in 2017.
Data from the Central Statistic Agency (BPS) showed that poultry imports in 2018 reached 304 tons, while the import of eggs reached 1.9 thousand tons.
With the WTO's ruling in favor of Brazil in the matter, it would be impossible for Indonesia to shut its market from importation as it would go against the principle of WTO free trade.
"In the future, the Indonesian market can be flooded with imported chicken and eggs. Such a condition will threaten the national poultry industry," Saragih noted.
Therefore, he continued, it is time for Indonesia to prepare the industry to compete in the international market.
All stakeholders in the poultry industry should be involved in designing a roadmap for the Indonesian poultry industry toward 2045, including the upstream and downstream industry.
The roadmap could become a guideline in developing the competitiveness of the country's poultry industry, at least in the ASEAN, to benefit from the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community, he said.
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Reporter: Subagyo, Sri Haryati