It was said earlier that if we can actually prepare 700 thousand hectares, we will be independent, we will be self-sufficient in sugar for the next 5 years…
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government will prepare 700 thousand hectares of sugarcane fields to support the sugar self-sufficiency target for the next 5 years, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) informed on Friday.

"It was said earlier that if we can actually prepare 700 thousand hectares, we will be independent, we will be self-sufficient in sugar for the next 5 years, and (thus) I will prepare the 700 thousand hectares," he affirmed in Mojokerto, East Java, after visiting Temu Giring Sugarcane Plantation.

He also spoke with a number of sugarcane farmers during the visit.

“Currently, we only have 180 thousand hectares. We need 700 thousand hectares, I will prepare it," he added.

The 700 thousand hectares of sugarcane plantations are planned to be spread across several parts of the country.

"Yes, it will be spread, indeed the culture of growing sugarcane is good in East Java, Central Java is good, in West Java it is also good. Later, we will (seek land) outside Java (island) because 700 thousand hectares of land is not a small land, but this I will prepare with all my might," the President said.

New and superior varieties of sugarcane are already available, which could boost production, he noted.

"We have started something new for sugarcane matters because we are using this newest variety. Earlier, Dr. Plinio (a sugarcane expert from Brazil) said that here there is no need for fertilizers for nitrate, then potash is not necessary because the soil is already good. This is so great," he said.

Related news: Jokowi presses for improving quality, productivity of local sugarcane

According to the Head of State, the planting of new sugarcane varieties for 26 days has shown good results. The planting of new varieties of sugarcane in the country has even shown better results than in Brazil.

"With this (new variety) planted for 26 days, you can see the results are amazing. Usually, in Brazil it only shows 2 (stems), here it can show 4 or 5 (stems). This is also something amazing," the President remarked.

In addition to food security, sugar can contribute to energy security as it can be processed into bioethanol.

"If the sugar (plantation target) is reached, some of it can be (turned) to ethanol, which we will start with E5 first. E5 goes, (then) E10, E20, like we used to (have) B20, B30 for palm oil. This is the same. It is what I am excited about. The most important thing is to find the method, so all that remains is for the implementation to be monitored," he informed.

Bioethanol is an alternative fuel derived from plants that have gone through a fermentation process. One of the plants that can be used for the purpose is sugarcane. Based on the results of a study in Brazil, 1 ton of sugarcane can produce the equivalent of 1.2 barrels of crude oil.

During the dialogue with farmers on Friday, the President inquired about the estimated yield of the new variety of sugarcane.

"Gentlemen, have you tried this new (variety)? If you look at the ones (which take up) 26 days, how about that?" he asked.

"Not yet, sir. If it is something like this, it can be 2 thousand (quintal per) 1 hectare, or 200 tons," a sugarcane farmer answered.

“Hopefully, there will be results here, going from 1,500 (quintals) to 2,000 (quintals) is really huge," Jokowi said.

Related news: Sugarcane land expansion to attain self-sufficiency in sugar
Related news: Research team produces environment-friendly GM sugarcane

Translator: Desca L N, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Suharto
Copyright © ANTARA 2022