Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan alias Zulhas exported 18 tons or Rp542 million worth of Betel nuts to Saudi Arabia on Monday. The commodity was produced by the Muhammadiyah Farming Community in Lampung.
“Betel nuts are one of the main commodities in Sumatra. I appreciate and am thankful for the Muhammadiyah-trained betel nuts farmers for managing to export to Saudi Arabia,” he said in a written statement on October 30, 2023.
According to Zulhas, this export showed the farmers’ ability to market Indonesian products abroad. “Sending one container of split betel nuts to Suadi Arabia must be seen as an initial step. I hope there are more small-medium-enterprises (SMEs) to be exported, whether to Saudi Arabia, or other global markets,” he added.
Betel nuts are one of Indonesia’s profitable commodities. In 2022 alone, the world’s betel nuts import amounted to US$442.4 million. Indonesia’s betel nuts export globally in 2022 reached US$246.6 million, with US$34.6 million in demand from Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, the import trend from 2018 to 2022 showed a positive growth of 43.45 percent. Globally, some of the biggest betel nut exporters are India (US$ 274.1 million), China (US$ 36.21 million), Bangladesh (US$ 33.3 million), Thailand (US$ 22.2 million), dan Nepal (US$ 21.4 million).