Indonesia revises down sugar production target

Rabu, 19 September 2012 | 11:39

The agriculture ministry sharply revised down the country`s sugar production target for next year to 2.8 million tons from 4.9 million set previously.million tons from 4.9 million set previously.There is no expansion of sugar plantations as planned, said Gamal Nasir, the Plantation Director General.

In addition revitalization of sugar factories did not work and plan to build new factories failed to be implemented, Gamal said here on Tuesday.

He said the target was set based on assumption that there would be an expansion of 350,000 hectares of sugar plantations and sugar factories would be revitalized and new ones would be built.

Based on the assumption the country`s production target for sugar was set at 5.7 million in 2014 when the country is to reach self sufficiency in that commodity.

"Until now revitalization of sugar factories remains in the pipeline so is the plan to build new factories. We have only two years left to go," he said.

The revision is based on the country`s real capacity, he said, adding, the target for self sufficiency, therefore, would also be rolled over.

This year, the production is revised down to 2.6 million tons from 4.4 million tons set earlier, and the target for 2014 is cut to 3.1 million tons.

However, if the plantations are expanded and the plan for factory revitalization and construction of new factories is implemented the production could be larger than 3.1 million tons in 2014, he said.

He said next year the budget policy in the plantation sector is focused more on increase in sugar production.

He said based on official data, the country`s production of sugar in the period of 2002-2011 never exceed 2.7 million tons a year. The peak production of 2.7 million tons was recorded in 2008.

"That year, there was large scale planting of new seedlings, but production never exceeds 2.7 million tons," he said.

Indonesia has repeatedly renewed deadline for self sufficiency in sugar but the target has never been achieved.