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Indonesia Creates Digital Tracker for Sustainable Agriculture

ByYasmeeta Oon

Jun 5, 2024
Indonesia Creates Digital Tracker for Sustainable Agriculture

Indonesia Creates Digital Tracker for Sustainable Agriculture

JAKARTA (June 5): Indonesia plans to set up a digital dashboard by August to track its agricultural commodities, the Ministry of Economic Affairs announced on Wednesday. As the world’s largest palm oil exporter, Indonesia is taking steps to monitor US$6.5 billion worth of products that will be subject to a new European Union (EU) anti-deforestation rule.

The dashboard aims to enhance the transparency of the supply chain for key agricultural commodities such as palm oil, coffee, and rubber. It is expected to promote sustainability standards within the country and assist Indonesian exports in complying with the European Union Deforestation-free Regulation (EUDR). The EUDR, scheduled to be implemented at the end of 2024, will prohibit imports of commodities linked to deforestation.

The EUDR is anticipated to affect Indonesian exports of palm oil, cocoa, coffee, rubber, and timber, collectively valued at six billion euros (US$6.5 billion). This new regulation has raised concerns among Indonesian exporters, who are now looking to the digital dashboard for assistance in navigating the stringent EU requirements.

The digital dashboard will serve multiple purposes:

  • Transparency: It will provide detailed information on the origins and movements of agricultural commodities, ensuring that they meet international sustainability standards.
  • Compliance: By tracking commodities throughout the supply chain, exporters can better comply with the EUDR and avoid potential bans.
  • Promotion of Sustainability: The dashboard will help promote sustainable agricultural practices within Indonesia.

“We must be able to track goods that we trade, so that we can improve trading, going forward,” said Musdhalifah Machmud, Deputy Minister with the Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs. This initiative underscores the country’s commitment to sustainable development and responsible trade practices.

Indonesia plans to initiate the digital dashboard ahead of a significant meeting in September. The meeting, which will include representatives from the EU and Malaysia, will focus on discussing the implementation of the EUDR. Both Indonesia and Malaysia have expressed concerns that the EUDR is a discriminatory policy targeting their palm oil industries. However, the EU maintains that the rules are necessary to ensure that the bloc does not contribute to global forest degradation.

Key Points of the EU Deforestation-free Regulation (EUDR)

  • Objective: To prevent the import of commodities linked to deforestation into the EU.
  • Implementation Date: End of 2024.
  • Target Commodities: Palm oil, cocoa, coffee, rubber, and timber, among others.
  • Impact on Indonesia: Estimated to affect exports worth six billion euros (US$6.5 billion).

Projected Outcomes for Indonesian Agricultural Exports

CommodityAnnual Export Value (US$)Potential Impact by EUDR
Palm Oil4.0 billionHigh
Cocoa0.5 billionModerate
Coffee1.0 billionHigh
Rubber0.7 billionModerate
Timber0.3 billionLow

Steps to Implement the Digital Dashboard

  1. Development Phase: The Ministry of Economic Affairs will oversee the creation of the dashboard, incorporating advanced tracking technologies to monitor the supply chain.
  2. Pilot Testing: Initial tests will be conducted with a select group of exporters to refine the system and ensure accuracy.
  3. Full Deployment: The dashboard will be fully operational by August, in time for the September meeting with the EU and Malaysia.
  4. Ongoing Updates: Continuous updates and improvements will be made based on user feedback and changing regulations.

The introduction of the digital dashboard is not only a response to the EUDR but also a strategic move to position Indonesia as a leader in sustainable agricultural practices. By leveraging technology, the country aims to:

  • Boost Market Confidence: Transparent supply chains can enhance trust among international buyers and open up new market opportunities.
  • Improve Environmental Outcomes: Tracking commodities can help reduce illegal logging and unsustainable farming practices, contributing to better environmental management.
  • Strengthen International Relations: Compliance with international standards can improve diplomatic and trade relations, particularly with the EU.

While the digital dashboard presents numerous benefits, there are also challenges to consider:

  • Data Accuracy: Ensuring accurate and reliable data collection will be crucial for the dashboard’s success.
  • Technical Infrastructure: Developing a robust technical infrastructure capable of handling large volumes of data will require significant investment.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Gaining buy-in from all stakeholders, including smallholder farmers, will be essential for widespread adoption.

Indonesia’s plan to launch a digital dashboard to track agricultural commodities marks a significant step towards greater transparency and sustainability in its supply chains. As the country prepares to comply with the EU’s stringent anti-deforestation regulations, the dashboard will be a vital tool in promoting sustainable practices and ensuring the continued growth of its agricultural exports.

By taking proactive measures, Indonesia is demonstrating its commitment to responsible trade and environmental stewardship, positioning itself as a global leader in sustainable agriculture. The success of this initiative will depend on the effective implementation of the dashboard and the cooperation of all stakeholders involved.

Yasmeeta Oon

Just a girl trying to break into the world of journalism, constantly on the hunt for the next big story to share.

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