Jakarta. Indonesia's monopoly watchdog says that the government's goal to reach beef self-sufficiency by 2019 is "too ambitious," warning of possible scarcity if the administration of President Joko Widodo continues to aggressively pursue the target.
"Targeting to be self-sufficient in beef by 2019 is too soon. It shouldn't be a five-year target, but maybe 10-year," Syarkawi Rauf, chairman of the Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU), said in Jakarta n Monday.
"Self-sufficiency means lowering the portion of import, however the current local cattle population won't be able to completely cover the demand, which will lead to beef becoming scarce," he explained.
Joko's administration has been working to reach self-sufficiency in beef as part of its goal to boost food security in Southeast Asia's largest economy.
Beef prices across Indonesia spiked earlier this year, following then-trade minister Rachmat Gobel's move to cut the Australian cattle import quota to 50,000 head in the third quarter. After protests from beef merchants, his replacement Thomas Lembong later said that the government may import between 200,000 and 300,000 head of cattle in the remainder of the year.