"We will support the cooperation with foreign governments, particularly on the cooperation with Cuba on the cigar commodity," Harsono noted at the opening ceremony of the Jember Cigar City of Indonesia Festival (JKCI) here, Friday (July 22) evening.
Harsono then reiterated the ministry's commitment to assisting in the preparation and implementation of the cooperation plan.
Harsono also lauded Jember District's initiative to organise the fourth edition of the cigar festival.
"(The festival) is a platform to introduce cigar products in Jember and to rev up Jember's economy," the ministry's official noted.
Meanwhile, Jember District Head Hendy Siswanto stated that Jember, among the finest cigar producers in Indonesia, has vast lands used as tobacco farms.
"Jember is a tiny part of God's Heaven," the district head stated.
The farming sector contributed a significant segment to the district's original revenue, he noted while drawing attention to the fact that during the 2020-2021 period, Jember's tobacco exports had reached 28.5 thousand tons, valued at US$148 million.
"Apart from being known as the city of tobacco, Jember is also known as the producer of the finest robusta coffee in Indonesia," Siswanto remarked.
East Java Provincial Agriculture Office Head Heru Suseno then lauded the Jember authority for persisting in revitalising the economy, including by organizing the cigar festival.
"Tobacco products and excise are among the largest sources of income for development, and Jember is among the largest contributors as compared to other cities," Suseno remarked.
While lauding Jember as worthy of the moniker "Cigar City," he also attributed the fine quality of Jember tobacco to the unique and fertile lands in the district.
The Jember Cigar City of Indonesia Festival (JKCI) is organized on July 22-24, 2022. The festival is attended by representatives of the embassies of Cuba, Argentina, the Czech Republic, and Nigeria as well as customers from Malaysia and France.
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