Wednesday, 19 October 2011


The Government admitted it was difficult to find land for sugarcane plantation so that target of sugar self-sufficiency by 2014 could be hampered. According to the Director General of Plantations of Ministry of Agriculture, Gamal Nasir, expansion of land for sugarcane plantation is urgently needed to achieve sugar self-sufficiency at 5.7 million tons/year by 2014. He estimated that the target will be achieved if there is 350,000 hectares of land available.

He stated that the government needs to implement an intensive aid and subsidy program to support achievement of the target. The incentive system consist of loan assistance up to fertilizer subsidy. So far, expansion of new land has only been realized at 25,000 hectares in Merauke, Papua where production could reach 150,000 tons of wet rice (GKP). “If only 25,000 hectares of land available, it means that it is still far from target at around 350,000 hectares”, he said.

To realize target of sugar self-sufficiency by 2014, on of the strategies that should be taken by 2014, one of the strategies that should be taken by the government, according to Nasir, is to make standard roadmap of national sugarcane-based sugar self-sufficiency, whether for consumption or for food and beverage industry from the upstream, downstream, and its supporting industry, up to various policy and regulation. Not of secondary importance is availability of land for sugarcane plantation and supporting policy concerning incentive, sucrose content (rendemen) policy, trade procedure, and protection of sugarcane farmers.

He explained that the government will increase sugarcane productivity through land intensification and extensification. Intensification and extensification shall be carried out achieve target of increase of sugarcane productivity, from realization in 2010 at 81.81 tons per hectare to 86.4 tons per hectare. Increase of sucrose content from 6.7% to 8.4% - 8.5%, increase of post-harvest and structuring of sugarcane variety.

According to Nasir, the government and the stakeholders should accelerate revitalization of sugar industry. He admitted that the revitalization program set for end of the 1990s was hampered so that dependence on imported sugar is high. Sugar industry revitalization is aimed to achieve target for 2014 at 5.7 million tons. Therefore, Nasir added, there should be a strategy to increase production of white crystal sugar from the existing sugar factories at 3.57 million tons, consisting of state-owned sugar factories at 2.32 million tons and private-owned sugar factories at 1.25 million tons. There is also additional sugar production from new sugar factories at 2.13 million tons depending on the capacity of the new sugar factories.

Nasir said that the Ministry of Agriculture will set Rp 240 billions budget in 2012 to support target of sugar self-sufficiency by 2014. In this year, a budget of Rp 88 billions has been set. The fund will be used for, amongst other, development of sugarcane seed plantations for demand of high-yielding seeds for rationing activity and expansion of sugarcane plantation as well as for expansion of sugarcane plantations cultivated by farmers, whether in Java or outside Java.

In addition, the fund will also be used for application of culture technology and provision of tractors as well as sources of water for land in sugarcane production centers. Sugarcane farmers will also be given training and provision of accompanying officers to be placed in each sugarcane cooperative.   

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