Indonesian Kratom Ban UpdateMadi Furlong
In June of 2019, the Kratom world was stunned to hear the announcement of an Indonesian Kratom ban. Given that 95% of the world’s Kratom comes from Indonesia, this ban would cripple Indonesian Kratom farmers and the Kratom supply in the United States. Understanding this ban’s why is essential, albeit tricky, as the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is undoubtedly involved.
Indonesia’s King Cash Crop
Kratom is native to Indonesia and Southeast Asia. This abundantly growing plant was a ready-made cash crop for opportunity seekers when popularity first surged here in the United States. The Kratom market is unique. It is free from monopolization and has remained open to individual farmers trying to better their station in life.
Today, Kratom is one of Indonesia’s biggest cash crops, rivaling palm oil, and rubber. Compared to palm oil or rubber, Kratom production is simple, quick, and takes up less land. Raw Kratom leaves are worth more per kilogram than rubber or other crops.
Additionally, growers of Kratom have personally exported hundreds of tons of Kratom a month. This commodity has allowed Indonesian farmers to climb the economic food chain. For the first time, farmers increased their living standards, sending their children to schools with full bellies.
Unfortunately, this surplus will come to a crashing halt with the introduction of the ban.
The Upcoming Ban
The Indonesian Anti-Narcotics Agency initially planned for the ban to go into effect in 2024. Recently, due to pushes given by the FDA, the date has been rescheduled to 2022. This move by the opposition has allotted Kratom advocates a mere two years to fight back.
Today, Mitragyna Speciosa is illegal to produce and export in its alternative homes of Bali, Malaysia, Thailand, and Myanmar. So, advocates have rallied to find a new home for the beloved plant. There’s some hope of production in Kratom’s native Papua New Guinea home, as no laws are on record concerning the plant.
Two years is simply not enough time for Indonesian farmers to transition their crops or for advocates to find a new production location.
Even though the ban in Indonesia has already been issued, representatives from the American Kratom Association and the Botanical Education Alliance have not found a reasonable resolution with the Indonesian government. In Indonesia, these representatives met with the Ministry of Health.
While the first meeting with the Ministry of Health went well, anti-Kratom Indonesian organizations have blocked any further discourse.
There’s still hope that the Indonesian government will take a stand. Regional governments, such as the Kapuas Hulu Regency, have declared they will continue to allow production in their region in support of their local economy. Especially in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which has shattered Indonesia’s economy.
If you’re ready to fight the ban from home, here are some helpful tips:
- Educate yourself: Before you jump headlong into the thicket, make sure to educate yourself. You should know where Kratom is legal, grown, and what makes it unique before diving into the fight. The American Kratom Association and we at Club13 plenty of information to help you on your journey.
- Connect online: There may not be a local shop for many Kratom users where you can assemble. Especially considering this fight is taking place all the way in Indonesia. Show your support online by signing petitions and reaching out to our representatives taking the lead.
- Support Good Practice Suppliers: You should only buy your Kratom products from reliable companies engaged in the market’s leading business practices. Whether it’s their sources, production, or product management, it is essential to support a vendor you can trust and a vendor who follows the rules. These vendors are sourcing their Kratom products from Indonesian farmers who follow the rules and regulations set before them.
- Spread the word: Finally, the most important thing you can do as a Kratom advocate is to spread the word.