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When Dragons are Unable to Fly

Bali’s Export of Dragon Fruit and Mangosteens Halted by Chinese Travel Ban

The head of the Agricultural Service for the Province of Bali, Ida Bagus Wisnuardhana, has revealed at least 12 thousand tons of Dragon Fruit (Buah Naga) produce in Bali cannot be exported due to the cancellation of flights between Indonesia and Mainland China.

Quoted by Nusa Bali, Wisnuardhana, said on Friday, February 7, 2020: “In fact, the export (of Dragon Fruit) had been approved by quarantine and the fruit is OK and awaiting shipment from farms. We are now just waiting for a shipping date.”

In the past, the export of Naga Fruit from the Regency of Buleleng in North Bali to China has reached 12,000 tons annually. In addition to Dragon Fruit, 9,000 tons of Bali’s delicious Mangosteens (manggis) were shipped each year to Bali.

Mangosteen Fruit

Faced with a sudden over-supply due to the sudden evaporation of the Chinese export market, Bali farmers have little remaining options but to flood local and national domestics markets with their produce.

Wisnuardhana predicts that the market price for certain produce will plummet because of the current cessation of flights to China. In the past, items sought by the massive Mainland Chinese market could fetch prices 10-time normal levels during the harvest season. Adding: “Our farmers are weeping with the current condition. But what are we to do? The current situation is one of ‘force majeure’. Hopefully, the novel coronavirus outbreak will soon be over and allow the export of our products to China to resume.”

Expect Higher Garlic Prices in Bali

On the reverse side of this issue, consumers in Indonesia and Bali are warned to expect steep increases in the cost of garlic. In the past, China has flooded the market with high quality and low-priced garlic, the import of which has now come to a halt with the cancellation of flights between China and Indonesia.

To compensate, farmers in Bali have planted crops of garlic in the Kintamani region of Bali that will only come to the market three months after planting.