Tue, 12 Oct 2010

Kendari (ANTARA News) - Southeast Sulawesi`s provincial government is planning to build a seaweed processing plant, local maritime and fisheries office spokesman Abdul Salam said on Monday.

"We are planning to build seaweed processing factory in a bid to step up regional revenue," Abdul Salam said.

According to him, seaweed commodity in Southeast Sulawesi was in abundance and therefore many domestic and foreign investors had expressed their eagerness to invest.

"But unfortunately the prices of the seaweed commodity here are unstable because many middlemen intentionally want to damage the prices," he said.

Therefore he added that the abundant commodity should be processed into half done material through a processing industry.

"Our target is that either in 2011 or 2012 the seaweed processing plant should be built in the province," he said.

The province has very strategic waters for seaweed cultivation and its potential is promising for the development of the seaweed industry.

Abdul Salam said investment of seaweed in Southeast Sulawesi should be promoted by the government and the farmers.

Through the maritime affairs and fisheries ministry, Indonesia is working out an ambitious plan to make itself a world seaweed production center in the coming five years.

To achieve this goal, the government is planning to create 60 seaweed cultivation clusters, restrict and then stop dried seaweed exports and build local seaweed processing industries, although they have yet to be developed optimally.

So far, only about 15 percent of Indonesia`s seaweed exports are in the form of processed products while the remaining 85 percent are in the form of dried seaweed.

In order to increase supply for domestic seaweed processing industries, a seaweed cluster development scheme was launched in various parts of the country.

The efforts to cultivate seaweed cluster schemes are being made to integrate upstream and downstream processing so that production can become optimal and have added value.