Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Forestry Ministry has set itself the target of planting more than 1.7 billion trees across the country this year at a cost of Rp3 trillion.

The target was the same as last year in which 90 percent of the number would grow, Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said here on Wednesday.

"I believe 90 percent of the 1.7 billion trees will grow. We set ourselves the target of planting more than 1 billion trees this year. Hopefully, the number of trees that can grow will be far higher than last year," he said.

Right now the country had 1.7 billion seeds consisting of 600 million from the ministry, 500 million from state forestry companies and 600 million from timber estate companies, he said.

He said the planting of 1 billion trees of the target for 2011 was started on February 1, 2011 and would be completed on January 31, 2012. However, the number of trees that have been planted this year is still unknown as the project is still going on.

The 1.7 billion trees would be planted using the ministry`s budget fund totaling Rp3 trillion, he said adding the ministry would use the fund optimally to achieve the target.

If the fund was not sufficient the ministry would team up with state and private companies to achieve the target, he said.

"Many companies have expressed interest in participating in the reforestation program, including mining company Adaro," he said.

By January 31, 2011 the number of plants planted under the 2010 reforestation program had exceeded the annual target of 1 billion trees, he said.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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