Wed, 09 Mar 2011

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, will visit Indonesia this week for his first overseas trip to talk on agriculture, trade and food security.

A media release from Australian embassy on its official website said the visit would include meetings with key Indonesian political, agriculture, forestry and marine representatives.

"Indonesia is an important trading partner for Australia, and our fourth largest agricultural market," Minister Ludwig said.

In 2010, Australia exported $2 billion worth of agricultural products to Indonesia.

"Indonesia is our largest wheat, live cattle and potato market, and a major market for sugar and dairy," he said.

Minister Ludwig will meet with Indonesian Agriculture Minister Suswono, the Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan, the Marine Affairs and Fisheries Minister Fadel Muhammad while in Jakarta.

The Minister will be canvassing issues of mutual interest including food security, market access for boxed beef and live cattle, illegal logging and fishing and the Emerging Infectious Diseases program.

Later in the week, Minister Ludwig will travel to Bali to co-chair a session at a Ministerial Conference hosted by Indonesia to coincide with the Fourth Session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

Members of the Treaty have developed a benefit sharing fund which invests in high-impact projects addressing food security, adaptation to climate change and agricultural biodiversity.

Australia contributed $1 million to this fund in 2010.

According to the Australian embassy media release, minister Ludwig would leave the country for Indonesia on Tuesday morning.