I agree with President Joko Widodo’s concept to better connect all of our islands with a so-called maritime highway. Indonesia as a vast archipelago with one of the longest coastlines in the world needs this infrastructure as poor connectivity between the country’s thousands of islands will only become a handicap for the distribution of goods. The realisation of this plan will benefit Indonesia in terms of reducing logistics costs as well as in increasing productivity as a whole. It will also indirectly impact local markets with regards to maintaining price stability. My outlook for our particular industry is that Indonesia will become the world’s leading supplier of seafood. We have an abundance of natural resources, a massive workforce, a domestic market with a sizeable middle class segment, and our tropical climate provides its own advantages to serve that prospect. Indeed, I am confident that Indonesia will have a thriving fish farming industry that will lead not only the ASEAN region, but also the world.
Indonesia’s aquaculture industry itself has already been well-developed in the last 30 years. As we know, we already have the technology to breed specific pathogen resistant shrimps. That said, especially the country’s regions from Makassar to the east will become future hubs for the world’s shrimp supply. President Joko Widodo and Ms Susi Pudjiastuti as the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries also plan to develop the logistics infrastructure that will link the fish farming regions and the industrial processing regions. The perishable nature of seafood products is that the quality diminishes really fast. Hence, they need to be processed immediately if not having a cold storage facility to preserve them. Indonesia lacks this particular infrastructure to support its fisheries industry. Overall, the mismatch has led to products ending up being thrown away.