PTPN VIII to convert tea plantations coverted into fruits plantations

Bogor, West Java (ANTARA News) - State-owned plantation company PT Perkebunan Nusantara (PTPN) VIII plans to convert its tea plantations into fruits plantations.

The company`s director, Danu Rianto, said here on Sunday the transformation would make the company a producer of fruits as well as the biggest fruits exporter by 2018.

The company`s tea plantations reach 25,512 hectares, he said on the occasion of a Nusantara Fruits and Flowers Festival 2013 held in cooperation with the Bogor Institute of Agriculture, the ministry of agriculture and the ministry of state enterprises and also attended by agriculture minister Suswono.

He said the business transformation was done in view of the increasing imported fruit market.

The domestic fruit market has also increased by around 11 percent higher than the sugar market which is only seven to eight percent, he said.

He said the location of the company`s tea plantations is in the southern parts of Indonesia so that geographically it would not become the competitor of exporting countries like Thailand.

"Even it could fill the gap left by Thailand," he said adding that Thailand is not in the harvest season when the season comes in Indonesia.

Danu said the fruits to be developed include "durian", mangosteen, banana and papaya.

On the occasion the commercial and business banking managing director of state-owned Bank Mandiri, Sunarsono, said the bank has allocated around 80 credits for the food sector.

reporting by andi jauhari