Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia is ready to become the world`s largest cocoa producer and exporter, Agriculture Minister Anton Apriyantono said here Tuesday.
"We are determined to make Indonesia the world`s largest cocoa producer and exporter as the country has an abundance of the commodity," he said in a speech opening a cocoa and chocolate exhibition.
In 2005, Indonesia was the world`s third largest cocoa producer after Ivory Coast and Ghana as well as the world`s second largest cocoa exporter after Ghana.
At the time, Indonesia had cocoa plantations on a total land area of 992,546 ha and was producing 652,350 tons of cocoa.
Export of the commodity contributed US$668 million to the state coffers annually.
Cocoa was the country`s third largest agricultural commodity after oil palm and rubber.
The minister said national cocoa exports grew by 12 percent in 1997-2002 while world cocoa exports grew by 3.51 percent.
Until 2005, Indonesian cocoa exports reached 3.3 percent while world cocoa exports were recorded at only 1.7 percent.
The agriculture ministry was conducting a cocoa development revitalization program to increase Indonesia`s cocoa plantations area to 1.4 million ha by 2020 and the productivity of cocoa plantations to 1,750 kg per hectare a year, he said. (*)