"We have started to plant sugarcane that is grown in a modern way, and we hope that later, productivity of the plant will be better and further increase," he noted in a written statement received here, Friday.
During his visit to East Java, the president inaugurated the "Cane Bioethanol for Energy Security" program that was held at the bioethanol plant of PT. Energi Agro Nusantara (Enero) in Mojokerto District, East Java.
Sugarcane is known as a raw material for sugar production. However, sugarcane produced by fermentation techniques can also produce bioethanol that can be used as fuel.
Jokowi noted that Indonesia was a sugar exporter in the 1800s. However, currently, Indonesia has to import very large amounts of sugar for domestic consumption and industry needs.
Hence, he instructed State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir to improve the quality of sugarcane seeds with the best varieties in the world.
"We are working with Brazil on this and already have good experience in sugarcane management," he added.
The president also expressed optimism that through this program, Indonesia would be able to achieve the target of independent food security, including cutting dependence on imported sugar.
"It will take time, maybe in the next five years," he said.
In order to achieve this target, Jokowi urged farmers and sugar factories in the country to work well together. In addition, machines in the sugar factory must be updated with more modern ones and utilize the latest technology.
"The key is indeed good seeds and machines for farmers. This requires a lot of investment, but we have intended to reach the target," he stated.
He later said if the sugarcane program is successful, the government aimed to increase the production of B30 palm oil to strengthen the country's energy security.
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