Brebes Regency is one of the regencies in Central Java, which is in the Pantura region and is directly adjacent to West Java Province. Brebes Regency has an area of 1,657.73 km² consisting of 17 districts and 292 villages and has a population of 1,600,000 people.
In terms of the economy, based on data from the Statistics Indonesia of Brebes Regency (BPS Kabupaten Brebes), there was an increase in the Implicit Index Rate of Gross Regional Domestic Product of Brebes Regency in 2020 by 1.01 points compared to 2019, which was 2.68%. There are 3 sectors in Brebes Regency that play a role in increasing the GRDP of Brebes Regency, with an increase of more than 45%. These sectors are the manufacturing industry (296%), wholesale and retail trade (60%), and agriculture, forestry, and fisheries (45%).
There are several products that support the increase its economy, namely shallots and shallot paste, salted eggs, decorative ceramics, tambourines, shallots, milkfish pindang (boiled in acidic-taste soup), as well as several sub-industrial products such as fried shallots, glass noodles, traditional boats, and biting (hio).
The product that provides the largest contribution to these three sectors are shallots. Brebes Regency is the largest shallot center in Indonesia, which has contributed around 20% of the domestic shallot production and as much as 57% of the production in Central Java province. Along with these developments, shallots have become the lifeblood for the economy of Brebes Regency to date. Entering the main harvest, which is every June-August, shallot production in Brebes Regency are not only can meet domestic needs, but can also meet the needs of the export market.
Shallots Productivity Table in Brebes Regency in the period of 2018 – 2020
In 2020, it was noted that shallot farming in Brebes Regency had a productive land area of 5.558 ha with an annual production capacity of 532.661 kw. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic where most business activities were limited, shallot production in Brebes Regency has grown by 30.33% and could meet more market needs, where most of it was marketed throughout Indonesia and a small portion was exported to Taiwan and some countries in the Middle East.
In addition, during the COVID-19 pandemic, shallot farmers in Brebes Regency have also made a few innovations, so the shallot business, which is the lifeblood of the economy of its people, can survive. This is in line with the direction of the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Syahrul Yasin Limpo (SYL), that currently there must be technological innovations on agricultural commodities produced to improve quality and quality in addition to continuing to increase production and make efforts to increase exports of agricultural commodities (GraTiEks). One of the ways this is done is by innovating through processed shallot paste products.
Along with the increasing popularity of this product, buyers of Brebes shallot paste have reached Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia. An average of 10-15 tonnes of shallot paste per month is sent to Saudi Arabia. The export of shallot paste was officially launched in December 2019. Then in succession until 2020, the average export had reached 14 tons. (Source: www.pertanian.go.id)
It is not only the prospect of shallot farming and several processing industries that are lucrative. From an investment perspective, Brebes Regency has enormous potential, because it has a land area of nearly 4,000 hectares, which is prepared as the Brebes Industrial Estate (KIB). The development of the Brebes Industrial Estate in Central Java will be equipped with a business ecosystem, such as commercial and residential areas. This pattern is expected to attract more investors.
Brebes Industrial Estate is one of the areas offered by the Central Java Provincial Government to welcome opportunities for foreign investment. The feasibility study and master plan for Brebes Industrial Estate were prepared by PT Kawasan Industri Kusumawijaya (KIW), as the party appointed by the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs). About 51% of PT KIW’s shares are owned by the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises. President Director of PT KIW, Mr. Rachmadi Nugroho said that the development of KIB is directed to make Indonesia more competitive in attracting foreign investors.
Apart from ease of licensing, land prices are a major component in the development of the Brebes Industrial Estate. As of July 2020, there were 95 companies registered in the area. (Source: money.kompas.com)