W Sulawesi governor promises to build cacao fertilizer plant

Mamuju, W Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - West Sulawesi Governor Anwar Adnan Saleh (AAS) promised the farmers in his area to build a cacao fertilizer plant not far from Belang-Belang seaport in Mamuju early next year.

"The cacao growers in West Sulawesi will no longer have problems to obtain fertilizer which could cause a harvest failure due to plant disease. We are making this a commitment to make West Sulawesi Indonesia`s biggest cocoa producer," Anwar Adnan Saleh said here Tuesday.

He said he is very much hoping cacao would raise the welfare of the farmers in the province.

"Cacao is a very important commodity in West Sulawesi province. Therefore, we have an idea to produce a national program of boosting cocoa production and quality which had been announced by Jusuf Kalla, when Indonesian vice president in 2008," he said.

To make West Sulawesi the biggest cocoa producer in Indonesia, he said, it is necessary to soon build a fertilizer processing plant to support the farm production in the province.

He said the construction of a cacao fertilizer plant in

West Sulawesi has the approval of Vice President Boediono, and will have a budget allocation from next year`s state budget.

AAS did not mention the budget for the project, except saying that the budget needed for building the project may amount to billions of rupiah as it would become the biggest cacao fertilizer plant in Sulawesi.

"The plant will supply the fertilizer needed by the farmers outside West Sulawesi province like Central Sulawesi, North Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi and Gorontalo," he said.

He said West Sulawesi province will build a cacao fertilizer plant because one of the weaknesses of the cacao growers in the area in producing cocoa is the limited supply of fertilizers.

"The national movement program of raising the quality and production of cocoa which had been programmed by the West Sulawesi administration in facing the limited supply of fertilizer, making it impossible to maximize cocoa production," he said.

He said the cacao fertilizer processing plant would boost cocoa projection in West Sulawesi from the existing 135 thousand tons per year. (*)