Mon, 12 May 2003

Fields remain untilled

MUARA TEWEH, Central Kalimantan: Hundreds of thousands of hectares of fields in North Barito regency, Central Kalimantan, have been deserted by would-be investors.

Head of the regency's plantation office Esganda Wangi said on Saturday that only 28,712 of 280,570 hectares designated as plantation fields were being cultivated.

At least 21 investors have applied for business licenses since 1996, but only two have started business.

The investors intended to invest in oil palm plantations and rubber plantations, Eganda said without revealing the total value of the investment plans.

According to the head of local agrarian office, Budi, only 11 of the 21 investors had been awarded business licenses, nine of which had expired.

Budi said the remaining nine would have to reapply if they wanted to continue business there. --Antara