Indonesia targets to be world`s first largest cocoa producer

Indonesia targets to be world`s first largest cocoa producer

Photo document of cocoa from Tiga Binanga sub-district, Karo district, North Sumatra. (ANTARA/Septianda Perdana)

"In the national movement there will be efforts to rejuvenate cocoa trees..."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Agriculture Minister Suswono said Indonesia is aiming to be the world`s largest cocoa producer replacing Ivory Coast by launching Cocoa National Movement to boost production.

"In the national movement there will be efforts to rejuvenate cocoa trees and improve production through proper cultivation and fertilization," Suswono said here Monday.

Indonesia is currently the world`s third largest cocoa producer after Ivory Coast and Ghana.

According to Suswono, the rejuvenation program was conducted by replacing non-productive cocoa trees with new productive ones.

The government started the rejuvenation program in 2009, hoping it could increase cocoa production to 1 million tons in 2013 from 833,310 tons in 2012.

The 2012 cocoa production represented a 17 percent increase compared to 2011 when the figure was recorded at 712,231 tons.

To improve the national production, the cultivation is done by applying the grafting and side-cleft grafting as well as proper fertilization. "Hopefully the productivity would increase," Minister said.

However, the effective production rates was only 700-800 kilogram per hectare per year, Suswono said adding that Indonesia, in fact, had a potential to increase its production up to 1.5 tons per hectare per year that would outperform Ivory Coast`s production, 1.4 tons per hectare.

Suswono said it was the opportunity for Indonesia to improve its production and become the world`s first larger cocoa producer as the Ivory Coast could not increase its productivity.

Minister Suswono, during the 87th Meeting of International Cocoa Council in Denpasar, Bali, held on Monday, set the national cocoa production target of 1.5 tons per hectare in 2016.

The government had imposed five percent import duty on cocoa, thus the industries were expected to optimally work on the cocoa downstream products such as chocolate.

The government would also apply a certification on cocoa to promote the Indonesia`s cocoa sustainability to the consumers.
(Uu.A059/A014)

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