“Apart from minerals, this cocoa is the mainstay (commodity) of Central Sulawesi. We are optimistic that this positive performance would drive the wheels of the economy of Central Sulawesi Province, so that it can improve the welfare of the community, especially of cocoa farmers," Minister Hartarto stated while releasing cocoa bean exports in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Friday.
The minister is optimistic that PT Olam Indonesia, as the cocoa producer, would increase exports to countries, such as Malaysia, Vietnam, the United States, India, China, Netherlands, and Australia.
"These exports are expected to continue to increase. Moreover, at this time, the prices of most of the mainstay commodities have risen. The governor also targets cocoa development to reach 400 billion per year," according to Airlangga.
Related news: Minister highlights need of innovation-based economic recovery efforts
PT Olam Indonesia is the largest exporter of robusta coffee, arabica, and cocoa products in Central Sulawesi. The company procures cocoa, coffee, palm, nutmeg, and pepper from more than 400 thousand farmers and employs 1,400 employees and more than 1,150 seasonal workers in areas close to suppliers in North Sumatra, Java, and Sulawesi.
The government has designated four provinces in Sulawesi -- Central Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, South Sulawesi, and West Sulawesi -- as the main producers of national cocoa.
The four provinces have been producing cocoa since long, so they have greater potential to be established as centers for cocoa development and its processing industry. Moreover, it is supported by natural tropical climatic conditions required for cocoa cultivation.
In 2020, the four provinces were still listed as the highest cocoa-producing provinces, with 127.3 thousand tons in Central Sulawesi, 114.9 thousand tons in Southeast Sulawesi, 103.5 thousand tons in South Sulawesi, and 71.3 thousand tons in West Sulawesi.
Related news: Local Fruit Festival to revive fruit demand, economy
Cocoa is the main commodity for farmers in Central Sulawesi Province, especially in Sigi District. The government has also established five villages -- Berdikari, Karunia, Bahagia, Sintuwu, and Petimbe -- as centers for the development of plantation commodities, especially organic cocoa.
In 2020, national cocoa production had reached 713 thousand tons on an area of 1,528 ha of cocoa and productivity of 706 kg per ha. With such production, Indonesia is ranked as the sixth-largest cocoa bean producing country in the world. Meanwhile, Indonesia's cocoa processing industry is ranked the third-largest in the world after the Netherlands and Ivory Coast.
Chocolate products exported by Indonesia comprise cocoa liquor/paste, cocoa cake, cocoa butter, and cocoa powder. Indonesia's chocolate exports in the form of seeds reached 6.1 percent while the remaining 93.9 percent is in processed form, with the majority exported to destinations: the United States, Malaysia, and the Netherlands.
Related news: BRI pushes agriculture sector to flourish during pandemic
Related news: Industry ministry highlights three priority programs in 2022