Jambi (ANTARA) - Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo has pushed for the diversification of agriculture and downstream products to increase income potential from the pineapple plantation in Tangkit Baru Agrotourism Village, Muaro Jambi District, Jambi.

"This pineapple plantation has good potential for the regional economy. To enhance this potential, diversify the plantation by cultivating other plants, such as areca nut, or combine the plantation with an animal farm," Limpo stated at a pineapple harvest event in the agrotourism village on Saturday.

While expressing hope that optimizing plantation land would increase the residents' income, Limpo urged the regional authority to facilitate development of the downstream process of the commodity to increase its selling value.

"Pineapple has a good selling value abroad, and I optimistic that it would be Jambi's main agriculture commodity if the regional government is committed to supporting its development," the minister remarked.

He also encouraged the authority to expand the 1,050-hectare pineapple plantation area to develop the pineapple processing industry in the region.

A pineapple processing factory can be constructed near the plantation area if sufficient area is successfully procured, he noted.

"At least five thousand hectares of land is needed for a pineapple processing factory, and I urge the governor, district head, and village head to support this effort," Limpo remarked.

Observing potential issues during the pineapple harvest event, the agriculture minister reaffirmed his support to the pineapple farmers' request to the regional government to construct a production road to the plantation.

Construction of a road would ease the farmers' access to the pineapple plantation, as they currently rely on a makeshift footpath to access their plantation that is located in the peatlands, Limpo noted.

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Translator: M Hanapi, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Sri Haryati
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