Indonesia plans to grow sugar canes at 500,000 hectares land

15:07, February 11, 2010      

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Indonesian Agriculture Minister Suswono said on Thursday that Indonesia planned to grow sugar canes at 500,000 hectares land and to build its refineries in Merauke of Papua in easternmost of the country to meet the raising domestic demand.

The plan comes as the raising prices of the commodity on the global market due to dwindling stocks has caused Indonesia and other Asian countries to purchase the essential sweeteners.

The minister said that the new plantation was expected to produce more than 2.1 million tons sugar, which meant that the country would reach sugar self sufficiency and still had some for buffer stock for the country's sugar security .

Indonesia needs 4.8 million tons of sugar and the country can only produce 2.7 million tons of the commodity, causing Indonesia still has 2.1 million tons of sugar supply gap, according to Suswono.

"By planting at the 350 hectares land we expect to comply with the gap of 2.1 million tons of sugar. I want that the planting at 500,000 hectares land, so that our sugar security would be safe as the sugar demand will raise every year," he said at the State Palace.

Minister Suswono said that he targeted that the self sufficiency would be achieved at least in 3 years.

The opening of the new plantation and cultivating of the commodity would involve private sectors in partnership with local community, he said.

Indonesian Trade Ministry has decided to import 500,000 tons white sugar in 2010 for industry and household consumption.

Lack of production was due to the revitalization to increase the capacity of the refineries and its efficiency has not been fully materialized in 2009.

Besides, the rising demand from the households and industry could not be met by raw sugar for industry which its import has been restricted last year.

Source: Xinhua
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