The competition is sharp and in order to survive, producers have to be more competitive."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Maritime and Fishery Ministry has set the country`s shrimp production target at 608,000 tons this year, a sharp increase from 415,703 tons in 2012.

The country`s shrimp production has continued to climb, fish breeding director general Slamet Soebjakto has said.

In 2012, the production rose 4 percent from the previous year, Slamet said in a shrimp production acceleration meeting here on Tuesday.

He said the target was based on production which already reached 320,000 tons in the first half of the year.

Producers would be boosted by the rise in prices as a result of growing demand in the world market, he said.

He said Indonesia has greater potential to increase production compared with other rivals especially in southeast Asia.

The country has 1.2 million hectares of potential areas for shrimp breeding with effective potency of 773,000 hectares, he said.

The potentials could make the country the world`s largest shrimp producer and exporter, he added.

The opportunity is wider with the outbreak of EMS (Early Mortality Syndrome) in a number of other producers in Asia such as Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia, he said.

The pilot project of shrimp ponds developed since 2012 in six regencies in northern coast of West Java, and Banten, would be expanded this year to 28 regencies in 6 provinces -- Central Java, East Java, South Sulawesi, West Nusa Tenggara and Lampung.

Slamet said the country, however, will face heavy challenge in its ambition to become the world`s top producer.

"The competition is sharp and in order to survive, producers have to be more competitive," he said, adding, " for that purpose they have to continue to keep pace with the breeding technology."

The maritime and fishery ministry has launched shrimp industrialization program which is expected to boost the country`s shrimp production, he said.

In addition to technology, regulation and incentives are needed for sustainable breeding system, he said.

He also said currently Indonesia is confronted with an open market competition in the region under the Asean Economic Community (AEC) scheme.

Synergy and cooperation among the stakeholders are needed in the program of shrimp industrialization to improve the quality and safety of the food commodity, he said.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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