Sat, 11 Sep 1999

Indonesia to grow its own spices

SEMARANG, Central Java: The Association of Indonesian Producers and Exporters of Medicinal Plants (APETOI) plans to cultivate here 14 kinds medicinal plants usually imported from abroad.

"The cultivation of the medicinal plants, such as coriander, white and red cumin, anise and cardamom, is an effort to decrease the country's dependence on imported medicinal plants, which so far are brought from countries like South Korea, China, India and Egypt," APETOI chairman Hartono Chandra said here on Thursday.

He expressed optimism that farmers here would succeed in cultivating such plants to meet the country's needs for such raw materials used for producing medicine, cosmetics and food seasoning.

According to Chandra, Indonesia itself is already well known in the world as a producer of medicinal plants. However, due to high local demand, the import of such materials is still necessary.

Antara reported that one of the first steps the Association would take was to establish a cooperative arrangement with top universities in the country to conduct a feasibility study.