RI to double fish farming production in five years

The government has set a target to achieve 31 million tons of fish from farming in 2019, a two-fold increase compared to the archipelago’s yearly production.

“In the next five years, [we aim] to jack up fish farming production to 31.3 million tons [per year], valued at Rp 365.8 trillion [US$28.67 billion],” said Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Indroyono Soesilo in Jakarta on Thursday.

  • to jack up – mendongkrak

Currently, the country produces only 13.3 million tons of fish from farming worth Rp 112.70 trillion.

Production comprises 22 million tons of seaweed and 9 million tons of fish, Indroyono added.

To reach the target, the government will expand farming areas up to 26.80 percent within the next five years from 10.80 percent currently.

According to Indroyono, the government would focus on shrimp, ornamental fish, grouper and red snapper in oceanic fisheries, while freshwater fisheries would focus on edible nila, patin and catfish.

According to Indroyono, the ministry will coordinate with various governmental agencies, including provincial administrations, to develop aquaculture farms nationwide.

The Office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs Ministry has also decided to form a interdepartmental task force to spearhead the country’s five-year aquaculture development program, especially dealing with challenges in aquaculture development.

  • spearhead – mempelopori, membuka jalan bagi

“The task force will be in charge of all matters concerning fish feed imports, aquaculture exports and investment opportunities,” Indroyono said, without mentioning the deadline by which the task force will be established.

Since the office was still recruiting members, it had appointed an internal official, Safri Burhanuddin, to chair the new task force, Indroyono told The Jakarta Post.

The team will comprise officers from the Marine and Fisheries Ministry, Trade Ministry, Agriculture Ministry, Environment and Forestry Ministry, the Home Ministry, the Navy, the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) and the Geospatial Information Agency (BIG).

Indroyono also hinted at the possibility of including the Finance Ministry or banking institutions for future access to financing.

Separately, Trade Minister Rachmat Gobel said that the team would have to draft the necessary policies and collect information on the available sites before it could work on access to funding.

  • to draft – membuat bagan

“We’ll draft a design […] and then make several investments to support the program,” Rachmat said. “There’s a lot of access to the global market [for aquaculture].”

This development comes following a shift in focus at the Marine and Fisheries Ministry, which has up until now focused on combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Previously, the office has set up a task force to combat IUU fishing.

  • combating – pencegahan

requested by the House of Representatives’ Commission IV during the meeting between the House and the ministry early this week regarding the later’s five-year development plan, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti was told to start developing an aquaculture subsector to boost production and exports in the fisheries sector, as laid out in President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s grand maritime axis plan.

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Gemstone fever hits Jakarta

When Aris, 40, a Jakarta-based insurance company employee, went to East Kalimantan five months ago to visit a miner client, he was astounded by the sight of a rock outcrop at a coal mine.

The client gave him a small piece of raw gemstone found at the site as a souvenir.

“After I had the raw gemstone polished, it turned out to be an amazing amethyst. I wear it as a pendant,” Aris said, showing off the purple amethyst pendant in Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta, on Wednesday.

He soon developed a fondness for local gemstones and started to buy more.

“To date, I have collected 10 gemstones,” he said, adding that “I can relieve stress just by looking at them.”

Realizing that his hobby required significant funds, Aris sets a ceiling price for each gemstone he purchases.

“I set a maximum budget of Rp 5 million [US$400]. Otherwise, I’ll be in trouble with my wife,” he said, with a chuckle.

A few years ago, Jakarta and other big cities across the country were rocked by the skyrocketing price of gelombang cinta (waves of love), which is named after a species of Anthurium. Prices reached tens of millions of rupiah. The trend lasted for about two years.

The gemstone hobby is actually not new in Indonesia and has lasted for more than one decade. The prices vary from about Rp 50,000 to priceless.

Meawnhile, Nesa, 40, a resident of Ancol, North Jakarta, decided to go further to satisfy his curiosity, also sensing a good business opportunity.

“I have collected 200 gemstone rings within about one year. The value of all the gemstones combined may reach Rp 500 million,” he told The Jakarta Post.

Nesa admitted that most of the gemstones were bought impulsively.

“It’s all about curiosity. Once I own the gemstone, the curiosity’s gone,” he said. However, he did not think the expensive hobby was without benefit.

“It’s also a good investment, so I also do this for business,” he said, adding that he had secured support from his family.

The bacan gemstone of North Maluku, in particular, has gained wild popularity thanks to reports that former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono wore one and even gave one to US President Barack Obama as a souvenir when the latter visited Indonesia a few years ago.

The local gemstone fever apparently has also reached women.

Influenced by friends, self-employed Ira, 38, started the hobby six months ago. “I love gemstones for their color and shape. Some people believe that certain types of gemstone can cure illness, or even can dispel poison,” she said.

Untung, a gemstone polisher at Rawa Bening gemstone center in Jatinegara, East Jakarta, acknowledged an increasing number of visitors over the past two years.

He said he was always busy throughout his store’s operational hours. “I can polish up to 10 gemstones daily,” he said.

Faizal Chaniago, a gemstone vendor at Blok M Square’s gemstone center in South Jakarta, said he realized the business opportunity and shifted to selling gemstones from jewels six months ago.

“The value of transactions at my shop can reach Rp 50 million per month, double my previous business,” he said, pointing out that local gemstones, including bacan, baturaja and sungai dareh gemstones, were particularly favored by collectors.

He was also upbeat the trend would last for a long time. “Because Indonesia’s gemstones are unique and amazing,” Faizal said.

Another vendor, Ahmad Faisal, had even started his own collection. “When I like a gemstone, I won’t sell it, I just keep it to myself instead,” he said.

Ahmad even compared gemstones to women.

“Falling in love with a gemstone is just like falling in love with a woman. Even though it looks pretty, if we don’t feel the chemistry, we won’t like it,” he said.

– See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/01/31/gemstone-fever-hits-jakarta.html#sthash.XTd1Ir2t.dpuf

Prostitutes smash streetlamps with slingshots

Frequent passersby may have often wondered why the leafy junction under Jl. Sentra Primer flyover in Pulogebang, near the East Jakarta mayor’s office, often goes without adequate light. The place is well-known for transvestite prostitutes soliciting clients.

  • slingshot – a Y-shaped stick with a piece of elastic fixed to the top parts, used esp. by children for shooting small stones
  • passerby – someone who is going past a particular place
  • leafy – (of a plant) having many of the flat, usually green parts that are joined at one end to the stem or branch, berdaun rindang
  • transvestite – a person who wears the clothes of the opposite sex
  • solicite – to ask for something in a persuasive and determined way

Officials have been baffled, too. They have often found the lamps broken or destroyed, but soon after they are repaired or replaced, they receive reports of the same problem from the public.

  • baffle – to cause someone to be unable to understand or explain something

The issue has long been in the spotlight, but not until very recently was the mystery uncovered: The transvestite prostitutes love minding their business under cover of the dark. So they purportedly use slingshots to smash the high-voltage streetlamps.

The flyover is located just across from a leafy wood that makes it a favorite hangout spot for transvestites. Law-and-public order authorities have got rid of food vendors from the busy road, but not the streetwalkers.

“They use slingshots to kill the lights because they like it dim there,” 45-year-old Sirait, a sanitary worker in the area, told kompas.com Friday.

The report said that of the 10 streetlamps in the area, only eight were functioning.

Dede, a local resident, said the authorities seemed desperate about the vandalism. “It happens all too often,” he said.

– See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/01/31/prostitutes-smash-streetlamps-with-slingshots.html#sthash.oujhy5MU.dpuf

Governor Ahok to use e-money to defeat Jakarta’s hoodlums

In his war against hoodlums, who have for decades controlled the lucrative parking and street vendor business in Jakarta, Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama launched on Thursday an electronic-payment system for parking, street vendors and microentrepreneurs operating on sidewalks and city facilities.

  • hoodlum – a criminal, esp. one who is a member of a group
  • lucrative – producing much money or making a large profit

The country’s giant banks, Bank Mandiri, BCA, BNI and BRI, are enthusiastic about participating in Ahok’s program as they see it as promising business and it is also in line with the National Non-Cash Movement (GNNT). Bank Mega and Bank DKI are also participating. The city administration also launched on the same day an electronic payment system for parking meters on Jl. Agus Salim, popularly known as Jl. Sabang, in Central Jakarta.

The new system will only accept payment via e-money cards issued by the aforementioned six banks, replacing coins, starting next week. Coins were still accepted this week to give motorists time to adjust to the new system.

  • aforementioned – written in an earlier sentence or page

Ahok was optimistic the e-payment system for parking and street vendors would boost the city’s locally generated income as well as its gross domestic product (GDP).

“The [e-payment] system will help boost the city’s GDP and help provide [low interest] loans [for street vendors],” Ahok said in his speech during the ceremony.

Transportation Agency parking division head Sunardi Sinaga said that potential income from on-street parking in the city had reached Rp 400 billion per year.

“The city administration could generate Rp 100 billion from parking while operators get Rp 300 billion to pay parking attendants’ salaries,” he told reporters.

Ahok said he would oblige parking meter operator PT Mata Biru to pay parking attendants twice the capital’s minimum wage, currently Rp 2.7 million. Ahok further said the city planned to apply the non-cash transaction system in all public-service sectors. The city aimed to install more parking meters in different locations, including 90 in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta, and 13 on Jl. Falatehan in South Jakarta.

Meanwhile, in the street-vendor system, vendors are required to obtain debit cards with city-owned lender Bank DKI. The vendors would be charged Rp 90,000 (US$7.13) a month or about Rp 3,000 a day, automatically withdrawn from their accounts on the 15th day of each month.

According to the governor, the new system is expected to prevent illegal levies and corruption.

  • levies – an amount of money, such as a tax, that you have to pay to a government or organization

“Prior to this system, vendors were often asked for additional fees from individuals who claim to be city officials. They paid more than Rp 600,000 a month. This new system will prevent illegal levies because vendors will know exactly how much to pay,” Ahok said on Thursday during the symbolic launch of the new system at the Gunung Sahari fish market in Central Jakarta.

Ahok stressed that the city did not seek to collect money from street vendors but to guarantee the vendors’ safety and to prevent thugs from collecting illegal levies from the vendors.

  • thugs – a man who acts violently, esp. a criminal

“We hope to fully implement this system by the end of 2015,” said the governor.

– See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/01/30/governor-ahok-use-e-money-defeat-jakarta-s-hoodlums.html#sthash.zr1194uE.dpuf

Economy in brief: Pindad spends Rp 700b to improve capacity

State-owned weapons manufacturer PT Pindad said it had allocated Rp 700 billion (US$55.5 million) in state capital injection to improve the production capacity of its weapons and ammunition division.

Pindad president director Silmy Karim said the funds would be used to modernize Pindad’s manufacturing equipment so that its production quality and capacity could increase.

“Along with the president’s instructions, Pindad must increase its production capacity and quality. We are aiming to use the funds to improve equipment so its production capacity could increase by between 30 percent and 40 percent,” Silmy said as quoted by Antara news agency after the visit of the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus) commander Maj. Gen. Doni Monardo and his entourage in Bandung on Thursday.

He said modernizing equipment was crucial for Pindad as Indonesia’s defense budgetary allocations would continue to increase along with the country’s economic growth.

“It will be really unfortunate if Pindad is unable to tap into the opportunity because [without such improved capacity and quality] it is possible for the Indonesian Military [TNI] to buy defense weapons systems from abroad,” said Silmy.

He further said quality improvement was important for Pindad to compete with weapons, ammunition and combat vehicle manufacturers abroad.

Silmy said Pindad should enter the international market because only around 5 percent of the company’s products were being absorbed by the international market, while most of the production was intended to fulfill domestic orders from the Defense Ministry, TNI and the National Police. “We don’t want to be just a domestic champion,” said Silmy.

Pindad recorded net sales of Rp 1.88 trillion from various divisions in 2013 while its profits amounted to Rp 97.60 billion, up by about 27 percent from Rp 76.91 billion in the previous year.

– See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/01/30/pindad-spends-rp-700b-improve-capacity.html-0#sthash.rGVdIw6l.dpuf