Sun, 28 Nov 2010

TEMPO Interactive, Makassar:The South Sulawesi Provincial Government hopes to be one of the world food suppliers. The opportunity come from the “food basket” concept proposed at the BIMP-EAGA Agricultural and Fisheries annual meeting in Makassar yesterday. Sukarniaty Kondolele, head of the South Sulawesi Regional Investment Agency Promotion, said that the point of the discussion during the first day of the meeting was to formulate South Sulawesi’s concept as the world food basket, ”This is very appropriate, given South Sulawesi’s two million ton rice surplus,” said Sukarniaty.

The BIMP-EAGA delegation (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area) Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers arrived in Makassar last Wednesday. All delegations organized their meeting starting yesterday until and will continue until tomorrow. Strategic issues will be discussed at this conference, among them food security and issues on global food crisis.

According to Sukarniaty, South Sulawesi has the opportunity to become a major food supplier. She emphasized that South Sulawesi does not only produce rice, but also corn, cocoa and other commodities. “The South Sulawesi economy is still dominated by agriculture,” said Sukarniaty.

M. Takwa, the Head of South Sulawesi Food Production and Horticulture, said that grain production is predicted to increase in 2010. Data from South Sulawesi Food Crop and Horticulture Office recorded that rice production in South Sulawesi increased 11.7 percent in the last five years: 3.3 millions ton in 2006, 3.6 million ton in 2007, 4 million ton in 2008, 4.3 million ton in 2009 and a projected 5.1 million ton in 2010.