Rubber Industry – The government, in this case, the Ministry of Trade, has made the rubber industry a national priority in the National Plan for Industrial Development. To maximize this, the government is developing a downstream industry in order to maximize the domestic consumption of natural rubber.
“For example, the use of rubber as road coatings, seals, bridge pads, gutters for rubber plants, and canal barriers for peat conservation,” said Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita through his official statement.
Indonesia consumes around 630 thousand tons of natural rubber per year or seven percent of the global consumption of producing countries. The structure of the Indonesian rubber industry includes tires (40 percent), footwear (15 percent), rethread tires (15 percent), gloves (5 percent), and others (25 percent).
In the industrial sector, the Government of Indonesia has developed a downstream industry to maximize domestic consumption of natural rubber. The rubber industry is even one of the national priorities in the National Plan for Industrial Development. The government is also working to increase the use of natural rubber in the country by promoting research and development, as well as innovation.
For example, the use of rubber as road linings, seals, bridge pads, gutters for rubber plants, and canal barriers for peat conservation. He revealed that the rubber-paved road construction program which began in 2016 and in 2019, the government is projected to build a 65.79 km long road.
For this reason, Musi Banyuasin Regency in South Sumatra, as one of the rubber production centers, will develop a rubber asphalt factory in collaboration with the Indonesian Rubber Research Institute.
Meanwhile, to support this goal, asphalt mixing plants have been built in eight cities, namely in the provinces of North Sumatra, South Sumatra, Lampung, West Java, East Java, Central Java, and Banten.
Farmers currently face various challenges, including the additional costs of adopting recommended practices, the costs of maintaining the quality of rubber production, and the high cost of certification.
Natural rubber is Indonesia’s second-largest non-oil and gas export commodity. In 2018, total natural rubber exports were recorded at 2.95 million tonnes with a value of USD4.16 billion. The export percentage covers 80 percent of natural rubber production, while 20 percent is consumed by the domestic market.
As the second-largest producer of natural rubber in the world, in 2018 Indonesia produced 3.63 million tons of rubber plantation areas of 3.67 million hectares. “As many as 85 percent of the plantation land is owned by 2.5 million rubber farmers,” said Enggar.