We have to develop downstream industry to be able to export finished goods."
Tangerang (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is set to boost seaweed processing industry in the country to provide a captive market for the farmers production of seaweed.

Jokowi made a short visit on Monday to a seaweed processing factory of PT Agarindo Bogatama in Tangerang, Banten, to see the processing capacity of the countrys industry.

"We want to encourage development of the industry to process all seaweed of our farmers," the president said.

He said the company has quite big capacity but it produces only seaweed gelatine, adding, the government wants the country to also produce other goods such as cosmetics and toothpaste from seaweed.

"We have to develop downstream industry to be able to export finished goods. We must not continue to be supplier of raw material," he said.

So far the country have exported seaweed mainly to China and the Philippines. Indonesia is the worlds largest producer of seaweed.

Jokowi said Maritime and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti has given stimulant for farmers to boost seaweed production.

"The market should be available for the farmers to dispose of the seaweed production," he said.

He said there are a number of seaweed processing factories in the country other than PT Agarindo.

In East Java there are factories producing cosmetics , medicines, shampoo and other seaweed-based consumer goods.

In Makassar, there is plan to build a seaweed processing factory by a local investor to produce cosmetics, he said, adding the investor is expected to carry out its project soon, he added.

"If we ask farmers to grow seaweed, we must first provide them a captive market. Excess in supply could be exported," he said.

During his sort visit to Banteng Jokowi was accompanied by acting Banten Governor Rano Karno.

On his way back to Jakarta Jokowi stopped a convoy of student at in front of state run elementary school in Sukaasih to distribute books to the students.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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