Preserve Indonesian Culture and Biodiversity by Increasing the Consumption of Local Fruits

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               This petition was proudly made by Kevin Hamdoyo, Luigi Kanaka Tedjamulja , Manuel Evan Bayu Wijaya, Maryo Marselino, and Natasya, students of 9 Hosea, Saint John’s  Catholic School BSD from our collective concern and love for the preservation of our local fruit.

Background

Written by Luigi Kanaka Tedjamulja

            A tropical country, Indonesia is actually very suitable as a producer of a high number of tropical fruits. Ironically, fruit production in Indonesia is not able to meet domestic demand, so Indonesia also has to import fruits from neighboring countries. What’s more ironic is the fact that the existence of some Indonesian indigenous fruit crops, have started to be rare or potentially extinct. In Indonesian art, the fruit motif appears in various forms. It may have appeared in various geometric textile or woodcarving motifs across the archipelago. However, due to the rather plain circular or rounded form of fruits, and its depiction in the geometric patterns in textiles, the fruit motif is not readily or easily recognized. The fruits themselves are often used as the main elements of decoration, such as a tower made of fruits for traditional events or religious ceremonies. That is a proof of how significant local fruits are for Indonesian culture. However, there are some Indonesian fruits that are coming to an end. And because of that, we must do something to save them from extinction.

The Problem

Written by Natasya

         Now what is the problem that comes with the decrease in consumption of local Indonesian fruits? Fruit is the source of living for a lot of people not only in Indonesia, but around the globe. Every year, local Indonesian fruits such as buah manau (manau fruit), buah matoa (matoa fruit), buah bisbul (bisbul fruit), and so many other local fruits are forgotten and became less known by the people. Based on the 2016 National Socio-Economic Survey (SUSENAS), due to a severe decrease in consumption of rambutan and durian. the consumption of local fruits have decreased drastically when compared to consumption of non-local fruits.

         With the decline of local fruits consumption, the fruit producers big or small, will consequently receive less revenue. To decrease the percentage of revenue loss, the fruit producers have lessen the production of local fruits that have less demand. Proven by the research done by the BPS (Badan Pusat Statistik) that showed the reduction of local fruits produced in Jakarta from 2017 to 2018. If this continues, the possibility of the extinction of local fruits such as rambutan and other lesser known local fruits, will increase. That will bring a huge impact towards the economic situation of Indonesian people and Indonesian culture as well.

The Impact

Written by Kevin Hamdoyo

         Losing our local native fruits will be a complete loss on us and some other countries. Farmers usually not only farm crops but also fruits in their farm, if our local fruits go extinct, then what do you think will happen to some of those farmers that can only plant fruits in our tropical country ? They might have already invested in those fruits maybe because they need to make more money for a living. They will have to find another alternative or they might go bankrupt because of the budget they spent in making more crops. Another problem we will face if our local fruits go extinct is quite crucial to our country, which is we will lose a part of our natural culture. Plants may be able to be planted artificially, but if a plant goes extinct then hoping it to grow back to existence, will most likely just be digging a bottomless pit.

Our suggestion

Written by Maryo Marselino

          To solve the problems, our government has to do something. Sending experts in agriculture to study in developed countries is one of the solutions. Through it, the experts can help Indonesian farmers to improve the quality of local seeds into better seeds.  After the seeds become better, what should we do? The government must raise the import tax for fruits. Why should the government raise the tax? We are trying to reduce the spread of imported fruits in Indonesia.

       Apart from that, they also need to create a law that forces the supermarkets to sell local fruits, also a law that demands the farmers to plant local seeds. The purpose of the law is to replace imported fruits with local fruits. Exporting local fruits also helps to increase the consumption of the local fruits. We can export the fruits to developed countries and countries that have less fruit diversity so we can sell it at a higher price.

Closure

Written by Manuel Evan Bayu Wijaya

        In conclusion, we know that fruit is a big part of Indonesia’s cultural identity, and without local fruits, our country will have a huge dent in terms of culture and biodiversity. To prevent the loss of the local fruits, we need more people who are experts in agriculture. The experts will help us to develop and improve the quality of the local fruits seed and after that, the government should raise the import tax for local fruits so we can reduce the amount of imported fruits in our country and even out the consumption of local and non-local fruits. By doing this, the local fruits in our country will increase and the farmers who usually plant the local fruits will not go bankrupt. This will also give an advantage for the farmers who farm the local fruits, to make more revenue for a living. So, our purpose is to prevent the local fruits from extinction and help with the economic situations of local fruit farmers. To achieve that, we need all of your supports to sign our petition so we can preserve the Indonesian culture and biodiversity, as well as help with the economy in Indonesia. Thank you!