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Indonesian shrimp farms in dire straits.

17 May 2010

The Indonesian shrimp sector seems to be paying the price of years of using mediocre farming protocols with mediocre feed quality : a massive disease outburst...

CP Prima Fails to Find Buyers, Secure Loans for Shrimp Farms


Troubled shrimp producer PT Central Proteinaprima says it has failed to meet a government-imposed deadline to find a buyer for its shrimp farms or borrow money to revitalize them.

“There are no offers from new investors either from Malaysia or Indonesia,” CP Prima finance director Gunawan Taslim said in a statement on Friday. The company, which has been in difficulty since a virus infected its shrimp farms in March 2009, has also not been able to borrow any money, he said.

CP Prima bought the shrimp farms from PT Dipasena Citra Darmaja, which had been bailed out by the government and was in effect under state control.

Under the sales and purchase agreement with the government, CP Prima was obliged to revitalize the shrimp farms in Lampung, South Sumatra. In February, the government gave CP Prima until the end of April either to secure loans to revitalize its business or find a buyer.

CP Prima spokesman George Basuki told the Jakarta Globe on Friday that the company had been committed to revitalizing the farms, but would be ready to meet with buyers if the government pushed the company to sell them.

Fadel Muhammad, minister of maritime affairs and fisheries, said the government had yet to make a final judgment on its preference for the fate of the shrimp farms. Fadel previously said he thought CP Prima should sell the properties.

The company’s farms were ravaged last year by the infectious myonecrosis virus, with total harvest volumes plunging from 8,486 tons in January to 3,536 tons in September. Production at the company’s main Central Pertiwibahari farm dried up almost completely — from 5,728 tons in January to less than 433 tons in September.

The crisis also resulted in CP Prima defaulting on interest on $325 million on bonds issued by its wholly owned subsidiary, PT Blue Ocean Resources.

Gunawan said CP Prima had managed to revitalize some of the shrimp farms it had bought from Dipasen but the revitalization of others had been halted in the fourth quarter of 2008 as it became harder to borrow money because of the global financial crisis.

PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia and PT Bank Mandiri also stopped lending CP Prima money when the virus hit, he said.

Khrisna Suparto, BRI’s corporate director, said: “After it was hit by the virus, we stopped giving further loans to CP Prima.”

Sulaiman Arif Arianto, BRI’s director for small and medium corporates, said: “We will provide further loans if they are directly given to shrimp farmers, rather than to CP Prima.”

Meanwhile, Nafian Faiz, the chairman of the Lampung branch of Tiger Shrimp Plasma Growers (P3UW), urged the government to do something to resolve the situation.

“Our condition here is getting more uncertain day by day,” he said on Friday.

Many of the Lampung shrimp growers working for CP Prima owe more than Rp 30 million ($3,330) to the company and will be unable to pay it back until full production is restored, he said.

CP Prima has been helping its farmers buy basic necessities but this has resulted in them running up even higher debts to CP Prima, Nafian said. About 7,200 families farming 16,000 hectares of shrimp ponds are affected, he said.



Source : Jakarta Globe

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