Eye on exports, ministry, sugar palm body seek to boost cultivation

Jakarta (ANTARA) – The Ministry of Agriculture and the Indonesian Sugar Palm Association (AAI) have formulated strategic steps to raise the cultivation of sugar palm, both to increase production as well as exports.

During a meeting with Minister of Agriculture, Syahrul Yasin Limpo, AAI chairman Djoko Widardjo revealed that the current state of sugar palm cultivation in the country is rather worrying, despite the fact that growing sugar palm entails added value for the community, especially for farmers.

“The Minister of Agriculture has given directives and is ready to formulate future programs so that our sugar palm sector can rise and develop,” Widardjo said in Jakarta on Thursday.

He revealed that the export demand for sugar palm plants is immense, and the commodity is much sought after by several countries, including South Korea and China. However, export needs have yet to be fulfilled due to limited productivity, he said.

For that reason, the association will further communicate with the director general of plantation, as the export of the commodity involves standardization and certification, as required by the destination country, he added.

Sugar palm has a production function that generates various agribusiness commodities for food and non-food products as well as for domestic and export consumer needs, he said.

The byproducts from the processing of sap into palm sugar can be used in healthy food and drink variations, he noted.

In addition, sugar palms also aid forest and land conservation efforts as they can be useful in groundwater management and erosion prevention, he pointed out.

“We are sure that the capacity and capability of the Minister of Agriculture can make agriculture a mainstay of the community’s economy,” he said.

Source: Antara News