TEMPO Interactive, MAKASSAR:The South Sulawesi government is cooperating with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to develop the passion fruit, cocoa, silk and marble industries. “The evaluation result of JICA’s part time work in South Sulawesi showed there are many commodities that can be developed and exported,” said JICA Makassar Representative chief, Kazuo Nakagawa, at the South Sulawesi governor’s home yesterday.
Kazuo explained that his office had evaluated the commodities suitable for development in South Sulawesi. However, they chose the four commodities. “This project will become a development model in eastern Indonesia to strengthen producers through training and commodity improvement,” he said.
Abdul Rochim, the Agribusiness Industry Directorate General’s secretary, said that besides the four commodities, seaweed from the province should also be developed.
Syahrul said this was the right choice. South Sulawesi has targeted the production of 300,000 tons of cocoa this year and said he hoped the chocolate factory in Singapore could be relocated to South Sulawesi. “There are two chocolate factories that will be built in Luwu regency. Hopefully there will be more,” said Syahrul. However, he is still looking for a name for the product to avoid the use of a South Sulawesi tribal name such as Makassar, Bugis, Luwu or Toraja.
In the meantime, marble is available in Maros until Luwu. The local people even utilize the remainder of the marble industry to make furniture and accessory, Syahrul said. “We can now even produce silk ourselves,” he added.
In the past, he said, the government brought in people from Pekalongan, Central Java, to make silk batik. The raw material for silk is widely sent to Java, too.