The program to empower the local people's economy by developing date plantations can be implemented in collaboration with the Indonesian Islamic Boarding School Association (IPI) and various other Islamic groups, MUI NTB Chairman Prof. H. Syaiful Muslim noted in a statement here on Thursday.
The soil and temperature in NTB are conducive to grow date trees, Muslim noted following his meeting with Zulkieflimansyah, the NTB governor.
In fact, members of the Indonesian Dates Farmers Association (APKI) chapter in NTB had already planted date palm trees in several regions in NTB, especially in North Lombok District.
Related news: Minister encourages development of technology-based people's economy
"Until now, dozens of farmers in North Lombok have planted date palms for a long time. Alhamdulillah, all of them thrive and bear fruit. Looking at all the potential, this program is expected to be realized, so that we no longer import dates. If it is successful, we will export dates," he affirmed.
The MUI NTB chairman highlighted that tens to hundreds of date palms in North Lombok have been bearing fruit and many have been harvested. Farmers in the districts of Sumbawa, Dompu, and Bima have also begun planting date trees, he stated.
Governor Zulkieflimansyah lauded the idea and expressed his support. He suggested that the date plantation program should also involve the University of Mataram that has experts in agriculture and agricultural technology.
Related news: Economic policy in Jakarta should improve public welfare: Baswedan