Indonesia’s Potential in Maximizing Palm Sugar Production

Indonesia is a country that is rich in the agricultural sector. This has caused Indonesia to become one of the contributing countries in meeting the world’s needs, one of which is contributing to the supply of basic ingredients for processed foods. One of Indonesia’s agricultural products which have become a new leading export commodity is Palm Sugar. Palm sugar is currently widely consumed as a natural sweetener which is quite safe for the body. In addition, the content contained in palm sugar has an important role to help meet the body’s needs for certain nutrients. This shows that Indonesia as one of the contributing countries in producing Palm Sugar to meet the world’s needs has a very important role in contributing to balancing the supply of raw materials for making food. Currently, Indonesian Palm Sugar has succeeded in exporting to various countries. Reporting from the Indonesia Stock Exchange Channel explains that palm sugar from North Sulawesi has always managed to have an increase in palm sugar production. Not only palm sugar production has increased, but Palm Sugar from North Sulawesi has also succeeded in carrying out export activities which have exported to three countries during 2021, namely Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore. The number of palm sugar exports carried out by North Sulawesi to the three countries amounts to 531.02 kg, with the largest exports to Japan at 381.52 kg with a value of 43.6 million rupiahs (Loupatty, 2022).

A large amount of palm sugar production in North Sulawesi, this has made a positive contribution to the local community of North Sulawesi, including a large number of palm sugar production, this can provide opportunities for the local people of North Sulawesi to get jobs, develop culture, and preserve the environment through cultivation, palm plants by being managed into palm sugar. Reporting from the Media Indonesia page, there are 500 thousand sugar palm plants in the Tomohon area. This shows that sugar palm plants to be produced into various processed products, this can contribute to improving the economy of the local people of North Sulawesi by increasing micro, small, and medium scale businesses which can be maximized by producing various local products originating from Indonesia independently. North Sulawesi’s independent business in producing local products through palm sugar. This is necessary for the contribution of various parties in introducing Indonesian local products to foreign countries. In addition, not only North Sulawesi has the potential to produce palm sugar, but there are other regions in Indonesia that are capable of producing large amounts of palm sugar, one of which is Palm Sugar in Lebak Regency, Banten, Indonesia. Which palm sugar produced from Banten is one of the best palm sugar producing areas in Indonesia (Mardika, 2021.). However, the new achievements shown by North Sulawesi, this shows that actually, the Indonesian people can participate in export activities through the production of palm sugar which can produce the best palm sugar products and has the ability to maximize local natural wealth to be able to contribute to improving identity. country, the country’s economy, and meet the world’s supply in the food sector.

Currently, Indonesian palm sugar export activities have entered various international markets. Countries that import palm sugar from Indonesia include Saudi Arabia, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Canada (Yudho, 2021, #). In 2020, Indonesia’s palm sugar production which is exported to the American and European markets will increase by 16.5 percent. After that, in 2021, North Sulawesi succeeded in exporting its processed palm sugar to Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore (Siti, 2020). The potential of various regions in Indonesia in producing processed palm sugar, this can contribute to increasing cooperation with various countries in the world and promoting the quality and characteristics of Indonesian palm sugar. Even in the Covid-19 pandemic situation, Indonesia continues to increase its potential to continue to balance the supply of the global market. With the huge potential of each region in Indonesia in contributing to producing palm sugar processed products, this can be an opportunity for Indonesia to continue to maximize the results of processed products. Which by maximizing this opportunity, this can not only be a contributor in balancing the global market, but Indonesia can also continue to meet the needs of the Indonesian local community where the Indonesian people also really need processed palm sugar as one of their household needs. Because palm sugar is more in demand by many people, which is healthier than white sugar.

With Indonesia’s huge potential in producing palm sugar, however, there are several challenges that are still faced by the Indonesian people in processing palm sugar. Among them are lack of technology, production management, processing, and marketing that are still traditional, technology dissemination which has not reached most of the farmers. These challenges, this has become an obstacle for the Indonesian people in maximizing the marketing and production of processed palm sugar in large quantities. Due to introducing, promoting, carrying out export activities, and balancing domestic needs, sufficient and maximum tools and labor are needed. Because currently, the tools used by local Indonesian people in processing palm sugar are still traditional. Therefore, taking advantage of Indonesia’s opportunities in maximizing the potential it has in the agricultural sector, especially palm sugar production, this requires contributions from various parties, both from state actors, namely the government and non-state actors, namely the community. The government can continue to maximize its negotiating role with partner countries so that they can continue to promote their local products to foreign countries, Indonesia can continue to carry out various strategies to introduce its local products through international expo events, introduce Indonesian agricultural processed products, especially palm sugar in Indonesian diaspora institutions that located overseas, and makes it easy for the Indonesian people to be able to use more sophisticated technology to process palm sugar, due to producing palm sugar products on a large scale, to balance domestic and foreign supplies, tools and human resources are needed. sufficient. However, the most important thing is the need for tools with advanced technology to make it easier for people to produce palm sugar because currently people in various regions in Indonesia still use traditional tools in processing palm sugar. Therefore, with the opportunities and potential that Indonesia has, Indonesia should be able to continue to improve and maximize the opportunities it has.

Nani Septianie
Nani Septianie
Assistant Research at Universitas Islam Indonesia