Yogyakarta (ANTARA News) - Agriculture Minister Suswono said here on Saturday the government would continue to strive to make Indonesia the world`s biggest palmoil producer.
"Palmoil is one of the commodities the state is relying on for foreign exchange income. So far the commodity has contributed a lot in increasing the state`s foreign exchange reserves," he said.
He said the country`s palmoil exports in 2007 reached US$8.87 billion and they rose up 39.5 percent or US$12.38 billion in 2008.
The minister made the remarks at the handing over of participants of a retooling program to oilpalm plantation companies.
He said the agriculture ministry had cooperated with the ministries of education, manpower and the association of palmoil producers to develop human resources to support the development of palmoil agribusiness.
He said the government was aware that palmoil companies needed human resources who were ready to work for industrial development.
On the other hand, he said, many university graduates could not as yet meet the competency needed by the companies.
In view of that he said the agriculture ministry since 2008 conducted a retooling program for university graduates to meet the need of palmoil companies.
After participating in the program for a month the university graduates were immediately absorbed by palmoil companies. "The result is satisfactory and in 2009 the agriculture ministry would continue the program for university graduates who are not yet employed," he said.
The minister that day handed over the program`s participants to 11 palmoil companies.(*)