Indonesia's local market for exotic oranges is in danger according to some growers as foreign imports are putting it at risk.
Tuti, who has been selling fruits for 39 years at the market, said she had stopped selling Medan oranges due to her difficulty in competing with the quality of foreign grown oranges.
“They are less sweet and pale now,” she told The Jakarta Post recently, attributing the quality to the numerous eruptions of Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra.
What sells now are imported oranges, such as the Mandarin variety from China and the Navel from Australia, Egypt, Turkey and the United States, thanks to their bright, smooth skin and fresher taste.
Rising consumption has made Indonesia a hot market for orange-exporting, countries including Pakistan, for instance. Last year it exported US$23 million-worth of Kinnow oranges to Indonesia and expects to see the figure grow significantly in Indonesia, according to the Pakistani Embassy.
Local production, on the other hand, has not grown as rapidly as imports, as it fell by an average 30 percent during the same period, as shown by data from the Agriculture Ministry.