Aceh Set to Become a Major Cacao Producer

Banda Aceh — The district administration of Nagan Raya of Aceh, said it will open 115 hectares of new cacao plantations to make the commodity its biggest export earner.

“The local farmers would operate the plantations,” Akmaizal, head of the Area Expansion and Supervision of the regional Forestry and Plantation Office, said.

The government will support the farmers with high yield seed variety and fertilizers, Akmaizal said on Tuesday.

He said cacao plantations in the regency of Nagan Raya are relatively small compared with other districts in Aceh.

He said the regency of Nagan Raya has only 4,500 hectares of cacao with annual production averaging 400-500 kg per hectare.

The opening of new plantations would make the district a major producer of that commodity.

The district’s production of cacao beans could reach 19,310 tons a year , he said.

Indonesia with annual production of around 550,000 tons, is the world’s third largest producer of cacao beans after the Ivory Coast and Ghana in Africa.

The country’s cacao production center is Sulawesi especially West Sulawesi.

The government has a program to revitalize the country’s cacao plantations with the Cacao National Movement launched in 2008.

With the program the country’s production of cacao beans is expected to reach 1.2 million tons in 2014.

Unlike the two African countries Indonesia will rely more on domestic market to dispose of its cacao beans with the imposition of an export tax on beans.

The export tax aimed at guaranteeing feedstock for domestic industries, resulted in an increase in cacao bean consumption in the country to 180,000 tons in 2010 from 125,000 tons in the previous year.
Last year, the domestic requirement was estimated to reach 280,000 tons especially with falling price in international market.

The price of cacao beans has been reported hitting the rock bottom or the lowest in 32 months on oversupplies.[]

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