Govt to Boost Cacao Production, Seeks Higher Exports

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  • TEMPO.CO, London - The government plans to again accelerate its national drive to revitalize the country’ cacao to expand cacao plantations as part of its effort to step up exports, Vice President Jusuf Kalla said in London on Thursday.

    “We had the 2008 Cacao National Drive, the budget was Rp1 trillion per year to revitalize cacao plantations for three years. This year, we will earmark Rp1.2 trillion to spur the program because the government has set a target that cacao production should soar by 50 percent for exports,” he said.

    Kalla said Indonesia was the world’s third largest cacao production after Ivory Coast and Ghana, thus the government should improve its cacao quality to penetrate international markets, including the European market.

    “Of all the commodities seeing declines in prices, cacao is the only one whose prices are climbing. And among the three largest cacao producers, Indonesia is the most stable one. It means we have great potential in this field,” he said.

    The vice president said improved cacao production would also spell better welfare for cacao farmers, who had thus far sold the commodity directly to processing industries.

    “Ninety five percent of cacao production comes from farmers, that’s what’s good about this commodity, so there is equality and the farmers will receive their income directly,” said Kalla, who is in London to attend the Federation of Cacao Commerce Conference.