The Central Government through the Ministry of Trade together with the Provincial Government of Bangka Belitung Islands collaborated to bring back the glory of Indonesian pepper. The collaboration was held to coincide with the momentum of the 2018 Pepper Day commemoration that took place in Pangkalpinang at Thursday, November 22, 2018.
Indonesian Pepper Day 2018 was attended by Expert Staff of the Minister of Trade for International Relations, Mr. Dody Edward. On this occasion, he said that "This activity is the right moment to revive the glory of Indonesian spices and make Indonesia the world's number one spice-producing country, including pepper. Collaboration between stakeholders from the upstream sector to the downstream sector is very important to improve Indonesia's pepper competitiveness".
The event itself was opened by the Governor of Bangka Belitung Islands, Mr. Erzaldi Rosman. On this occasion, Mr. Erzaldi emphasized that the central government policy can be run and support each other with the regional government. In this event, several speakers were also present to increase the understanding of the community and farmers on pepper related issues.
At this event, Mr. Willistra Danny, Deputy Director for Plantation and Horticulture, Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs Republic of Indonesia explained about the "Road Map for Pepper Development in Indonesia". He explained that there were need for strong coordination between government institutions to restore the glory of pepper in Indonesia. Next, Mrs. Retno Rukmawati, Head of Bureau for Warehouse Receipt System and Commodity Auction Market Assistance and Surveillance, Ministry of Trade Republic of Indonesia, explained about "Warehouse Receipt Strategy for Pepper Price Remuneration". Mrs. Retno explained that the warehouse receipt system was one of the solutions provided by the government in facing fluctuating pepper prices. She explained that storing pepper with a warehouse receipt system would prevent farmers from the threat of middlemen who bid pepper at lower value.
On this occasion, Mr. Gamal Nasir, Chairman of the Indonesia Spices Council, also attended and provided a presentation on the "Pepper Price Remuneration Strategy through Geographical Indication Certification". He stressed the importance of the geographical indication certification to increase the selling price of pepper. In addition, he also explained that farmers needed to improvise and be more creative so that pepper that had a geographical indication certificate was not mixed with other types of pepper whose source was unclear. In the following session, Mr. Evert-Jan Verschuren from Verstegen Spices & Sauces B.V (Indonesia / Asia) also provided material on "Good Agricultural Practices: Case Study South Bangka Farmer". The last session was filled with material on "Financing of Micro Credit Programs for Pepper Smallholders" from Bank Rakyat Indonesia Representative.
This event was also filled with panel discussion between speakers and attendees. The question and answer took place warmly with some excellent questions, suggestions, and answers from participants, private representatives, government representatives, and presenters. The event was closed with a field trip to pepper cultivation.