West Sulawesi to make RI biggest cocoa producing country

Mamuju, West Sulawesi  (ANTARA News) - West Sulawesi Governor Anwar Adnan Saleh remains optimistic that his province can make Indonesia the largest cocoa producing country.

"Since the announcement of a large national program for the revitalization of cocoa industry, known as Gernas Pro Kakao, I remain optimistic that West Sulawesi is able to turn Indonesia into the largest cocoa producing country," Governor Anwar Adnan said here on Wednesday.

He said Ivory Coast at present is the world`s largest cocoa producing country while Indonesia is on the second place, but he is optimistic that the latter will be the first in years to come.

Therefore, in his presentation on national cocoa revitalization program at the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas), Governor Anwar asked that the ongoing program since 2008 be continued until 2014.

"The Gernas Pro Kakao program has a target to improve the production and quality of the commodity to exceed Ivory Coast in 2014," the governor said.

He said West Sulawesi provincial government planned to step up cocoa production every year but it was hampered by the limited amount of budget from the central government.

In 2009 West Sulawesi produced 40,000 tons of cocoa but the production declined in 2010 following the reduction of budget from the central government.

According to the West Sulawesi governor, 80 percent of national cocoa production came from eastern Indonesian regions while the rest come from other provinces such as Bali, East Nusa Tenggara, and Aceh.(*)