Tropical fruit production in IndonesiaIndonesia’s tropical climate allows for a year-round production of tropical fruits, making the archipelago one of the major producers of fruits globally. However, Indonesia’s fruit production is insufficient to fulfill its high local and global demand, and it largely relies on fruit imports from other countries such as China, Thailand, and Vietnam. Most of the tropical fruits produced in Indonesia are cultivated by smallholders or on small garden plots. Java and Sumatera Islands produced the most tropical fruits and have a higher diversity of fruit species compared to the other islands. East Java has been Indonesia’s top producer for several tropical fruits such as star fruit and durian, while West Java produced most of Indonesia’s mangosteen and rambutans. Besides its native fruit species, Indonesia is also one of the largest global producers of other tropical fruits such as avocado, pineapple, and banana.
Challenges in the tropical fruit industry in IndonesiaEven though native tropical fruit species are particularly important for the livelihood of Indonesian small farmers, Indonesia has spent decades focusing on non-native tropical fruit species. At the same time, Indonesian smallholder fruit farmers are also being priced out of the global market due to the lack of financial resources. They face numerous barriers in gaining access to export markets, particularly those that require traceability, "zero deforestation" production techniques, legal compliance, and other international standards.
Furthermore, fruits imported from other countries are often cheaper, and some tropical fruits from other countries are often easier to find in Indonesian big cities compared to fruits produced locally due to the high logistics costs and inadequate infrastructure in the nation. In light of these circumstances, Indonesia has allocated more land for fruit plantations while also improving infrastructure and transportation systems to decrease the high distribution costs. The Indonesian government has also been limiting tropical fruit imports to boost its domestic sales. Given Indonesia's rapid growth in fruit exports in recent years, the Indonesian tropical fruit industry seems to be on track to reach its goals.