PT. Susanti Megah

Salt History in Indonesia

Salt (wuyah : javanese) is one of the food commodity and spices brought by more professional traders and has a wider range of Java (Rahardjo 2002: 331; Nastiti 1995: 88-89 in Sunjayadi, 2007).
It can be found in inscriptions IX-XV centuries AD, wherein the salt is one of the commodities that are transported by water transport (Prihatmoko, 2011). In this case the salt obtained by the old-fashioned way closely associated with the process of preserving fish (anchovies) at that time (Sunjayadi, 2007).
Judging from the history of salt production in Indonesia before the development of modern salt production by the colonial government in the 19th century, is almost entirely controlled by the Chinese. Colonial Government then took over the large salt ponds located in Gresik and Sumenep (Madura) in East Java (Sunjayadi, 2007).
In 1813, Raffles held a monopoly of salt throughout the territory, both production and distribution. However, for the workers of salt, especially on the north coast of Java, Banten, Karawang, Cirebon and Semarang managed to anticipate the monopoly regulation, then in 1870 the salt exploitation ultimately constrained by arbitrary on the island of Madura. The grounds more easily monitored (Sunjayadi, 2007).
Then at the beginning of the colonial government only buy salt from the maker-maker with a fixed price, and then they opened the company in 1918 and finally in 1936 took over the whole production (Sunjayadi, 2007).
The system used has continued until now. The workers brought salt to the warehouse. Then the salt was cleaned and shaped briquettes before being distributed. The salt comes from the salt ponds covering an area now approximately 6000 ha, located in various places on the south coast, especially in the east area of Sumenep, 600 ha located on the coast of Java, around Gresik. Meanwhile the annual production from time to time changed very much, on average, estimated at 50 tons per ha, approximately 300,000 tons overall. The company employs 5000 permanent workers and 15,000 seasonal workers (Lombard II 2000: 98 in Sunjayadi, 2007).
Colonial government monopoly not only in Java and Madura, monopoly extends to several districts in Sumatra and nearly the entire Borneo (Kalimantan). Meanwhile in southwestern Sulawesi salt production is still in the hands of private parties (Handbook of the Netherlands Indies 1930: 121 in Sunjayadi, 2007). In the Japanese era when the salt production stopped in Java, Sumatra residents busy-busy boiling seawater to get salt. In 1957 the monopoly of the salt is removed. Salt country was turned into a state enterprise in 1960 (Cribb 2004: 382 in Sunjayadi, 2007).