Deputy regent of North Lombok H Najmul Ahyar said cacao production of North Lombok has declined over the past several years mainly on disease.
Mould has attacked cacao plants almost every year resulting in a decline in production by 50 percent, Najmul said here on Wednesday.
Attempt made to prevent the disease from spreading was too late that it has hit almost all cacao plantations in the district, he said.
He said he has asked the district agriculture office to help farmers eradicate the disease that North Lombok could become a major cacao producer next year.
In addition, cacao plants in North Lombok have been less productive as most of the three have been too old averaging 25 years in age, he said.
Therefore, replanting in large scale is needed, he said, adding the provincial government of West Nusa Tenggara has pledged support for the revitalization of the plantations.
The provincial administration has pledged financial support as North Lombok is projected to become a major producer of cacao in the country, he said.
The revitalization and replanting program will cover 800 hectares of cacao plantations owned by farmers in North Lombok, he added.
Bentek village chief Budiarta said harvest shrank almost 50 percent as many fruits are damaged by fungus .
Extreme climate also contributed to the decline in production this year, Budiarto said, adding too much rain damaged the fruits.
Cacao is one of the country`s export commodities produced mainly by Sulawesi.
Indonesia is the world`s third largest producer of cacao after the Ivory Coast and Ghana of Africa.