Indonesia, Italy bolster agricultural cooperation

Indonesia, Italy bolster agricultural cooperation

Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo and Italian Minister of Agriculture Teresa Bellanova sign the memorandum of understanding to strengthen cooperation between Indonesia and Italy in agriculture.

This cooperation encompasses cultivation, agricultural mechanization, management of water resources, education and training, research, and development of capacity of human resources
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo met with his Italian counterpart Teresa Bellanova to intensify cooperation between Indonesia and Italy in the agriculture sector.

"This cooperation encompasses cultivation, agricultural mechanization, management of water resources, education and training, research, and development of capacity of human resources," Minister Limpo noted in a statement received in Jakarta on Tuesday.

During the meeting, Minister Limpo and Minister Bellanova discussed several bilateral issues, particularly pertaining to stepping up the value of trade and investment in the field of agriculture between both nations.

The agriculture minister expounded on the advantages of Indonesian agricultural commodities, including palm oil, rubber, tropical fruits, tea, and spices. He also invited Italian investment in the agriculture and livestock sectors to invest in Indonesia.

"I convey to Minister Bellanova that Indonesian products have met the European Union standards in the field of health and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS), so that they can be exported to the European market," Minister Limpo remarked.

The minister of agriculture also stressed that the Indonesian agricultural sector has implemented Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and engaged in sustainable management.

The two ministers specifically discussed Indonesia's palm oil exports. Palm oil products are known to be used in the food industry and as biodiesel fuel in Italy.

According to the 2018 data, exports of Indonesian palm oil products to Italy were valued at US$570.2 million, or 29.7 percent of the total Indonesian exports to Italy worth $1.92 billion and 79.7 percent of Indonesia's total agricultural exports to Italy that amounted to $715.6 million.

In the meantime, Italian Minister of Agriculture Bellanova concurred on the explanation that palm oil plantations played a role in opening employment opportunities and alleviating poverty in Indonesia.

Indonesian Ambassador to Italy Esti Andayani assessed that the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) will further deepen relations between both nations and encourage development of the agricultural sector in Indonesia.

According to Andayani, the MoU will facilitate the implementation of agricultural information exchange, training for capacity building, and the implementation of joint research by agricultural research institutions in both countries.

Indonesia and Italy enjoy relations dating back to 1959 and recently celebrated seven decades of diplomatic relations in 2019.

Italy is the third-largest trading partner for Indonesia among the European Union countries. During the January-November 2019 period, the value of trade between the two countries had reached $3.17 billion.
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