Wed, 20 Aug 2008
Indonesia may be able to double its current annual cocoa production to 1 million metric tons in the next five years as steps are taken to rejuvenate existing plantations, a senior industry official said, Dow Jones reported.

The cocoa plantation rehabilitation scheme is slated for completion by 2011, and it is possible that production will reach one million tons of cocoa by 2013, said Litha Brent, vice chairman of the Association of Indonesian Coffee Exporters.

However, output is expected to remain flat over the next in the short term due to damage from the cocoa pod borer and a lethal fungal disease.

Of the 450,000 hectares of cocoa crops in Sulawesi, 70,000 hectares have come under serious attack by pests and disease, 235,000 hectares have been half-damaged and 145,000 hectares slightly damaged.

The association estimates that this year's cocoa crop will be around 500,000 metric tons, compared with last year's 530,000 tons.

Indonesia, the world's third-largest producer of cocoa after the Ivory Coast and Ghana, targets cocoa output of two million tons by 2020, but output has been declining over the past few years.



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