CIKARANG - Minister of Trade Muhammad Lutfi released the first export of 14.5 tonnes of watermelon worth USD 11.46 thousand to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The release of exports was carried out by the TaniHub Group, which is a start-up company engaged in agricultural technology (agritech start-up). The export release took place at the North Cikarang TaniHub National Fulfillment Center, Bekasi, West Java today, Wednesday (21/4).

Watermelon export products come from company-assisted farmers in Lampung to meet market demand in the UAE. TaniHub Group estimates that there is a potential for sustainable demand from the UAE market to reach 156 tonnes per month.

The Trade Minister conveyed that Indonesia's economy must grow three times the GDP per capita by 2038. If not, Indonesia will be trapped by the middle class trap. To get out of the middle class trap, Indonesia must invest in two areas, namely infrastructure and technology transfer.

"TaniHub Group has bridged those two things, namely investing in infrastructure through digital platforms and technology transfer. In addition, this event is also conducted on an economic basis. This means that there is no subsidy, but all parties involved in this process get a reasonable profit,” explained the Trade Minister.

In addition to the UAE, TaniHub Group is also exploring the potential to export watermelons worth IDR 15.31 billion to the markets of Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Malaysia. TaniHub Group plans to export other commodities such as 58,000 kg of watermelon worth IDR 667 million, 28,000 kg of pineapple (IDR 504 million), 57,000 kg of bananas (IDR 826.5 million), and 38,000 kg of oranges (IDR 551 million).

Based on data from the Central Statistics Agency, in March 2021, Indonesia's agricultural product exports reached USD 390 million, an increase of 25.04 percent compared to the same month in 2020. The value of agricultural exports contributed 2.15 percent to Indonesia's total exports as of March 2021, which reached USD 18.35 billion. (LM)