It is interesting for us to respond that the Governor of West Kalimantan, Sutarmidji in various local and national media said that the potential of Kratom for sale plants is very large and can be an alternative income for the residents of West Kalimantan, especially people who are in the Kapuas Hulu area. This was responded by the Governor because the issue of kratom plants was still a polemic in the community.
One case that caused a stir in kratom farmers in Kapuas Hulu was the circulation in social media about a letter containing conclusions of a government coordination meeting with The American Kratom Association (AKA) June 14, 2019, at the Agricultural Quarantine Agency. At least, five main points are resulting from the coordination. First, the National Narcotics Agency will send a Circular to the Ministries / Institutions (K / L) regarding the supervision and / or prohibition of use and distribution, including import and export of kratom plants in any form, as material for preparing related K / L policies.
Secondly, the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency has issued regulations prohibiting kratom from being used in; standardized traditional herbal medicines and fitofarmaka (Perka BPOM 2015); traditional medicines and health supplements (Decree of the Head of BPOM 2014); traditional medicines and health supplements (Circular for Deputy of Supervision of Traditional Medicines, Cosmetics, and Complementary Products in 2016), and; processed food (Regulation of the Head of BPOM Number 7 of 2018 concerning Raw Materials Prohibited in Processed Food.
Third, the Minister of Agriculture has issued Minister of Agriculture Decree No. 140 of 2019 concerning Plantation Licensing, which states that kratom is not included in the plantations of the Directorate General of Plantations. Fourth, the Agricultural Quarantine Agency will prepare guidelines for quarantine supervision and action for kratom plants and their products, instead of the Circular Letter of the Head of the Agricultural Quarantine Agency Number 8111 / HM.110 / L / 05/2013 dated May 27, 2013.
Fifth, the meeting forum agreed that it was necessary to hold a follow-up coordination meeting involving the relevant Ministries / Agencies dealing with issues of supervision, use, and distribution of kratom plants.
The circulation of the letter on social media, although only limited to the minutes, is enough to make the farmers aware. This information was indeed approved by the Head of the Pontianak Agricultural Quarantine and Enforcement Section, Taryu, who said the letter was true. However, only limited minutes of meeting results and there has been no official circulation to government institutions.
Indonesian National Narcotics Agency official, Insp. Gen. Pol Adhi Prawoto explained that this kratom plant did contain mitragyna speciosa, from the Rubiaceae family and the main active ingredient of kratom was the mitragynine alkaloid and 7-hydroxy mitragynine which were proven to provide analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and muscle relaxants. But looking at the socio-economic considerations of people in West Kalimantan, there will be an acceleration of regulation regarding this kratom plant. With a 5-year incremental implementation, alternative development or crop replacement will be carried out and structured socialization is needed to the community.
It is also necessary for kratom farmers to know that the Center for Drug and Food Control (BBPOM) has issued a circular related to the prohibition of kratom distribution. Well, the circular issued by BBPOM in 2016 was only in the form of a ban on the use of kratom packaged as traditional medicine and health supplements. While other prohibitions have no rules.
To clear up the problem of this kratom crop so as not to cause worry among farmers, the regulations that will be drafted must be fair and also consider economic life, especially kratom farmers who have depended on their lives in this plant.
From natural wealth in West Kalimantan, the existence of kratom plants is very important to support the economic side of the community. The sale of kratom leaves is the main choice of many families, especially in Kapuas Hulu because the rubber plant is no longer profitable.
Governor Sutarmidji’s statement also gave a glimmer of hope, that the potential of this kratom should not be killed but instead sought a solution. Kratom plants can be used as medicinal plant commodities that can provide income to the community.
So, regarding the kratom issue in West Kalimantan, the point is that if the government as the backbone of the people will make regulations on kratom plants, then a truly beneficial analysis is needed from both sides, both in terms of legalization, health, and the economic impact for the people of West Kalimantan. Hopefully