Wed, 21 May 2003

IPB to develop 'taro' snacks

BOGOR: Fearing that the local traditional snack made of talas, or taro, may disappear, the Bogor administration is working in cooperation with the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB) to develop the production of the plant.

An official in charge of industry and investment at the Bogor agency of industry, trade and cooperatives, Nazarudin, said that taro production should be developed. Otherwise, the snacks endemic to Bogor could become "extinct", he said on Tuesday.

He said that his office was also cooperating with the agency of agriculture to supply the raw material. The agriculture agency is to encourage farmers to grow taro as a main crop instead of a secondary crop. Local residents would also be encourage to grow it at home, he added.

Many local snacks are unable to compete on a par with modern snacks, usually because of the poor packaging, marketing and processing.

The Bogor administration and IPB also plans to develop a packaging center for traditional snacks made of taro and other tubers. -- JP