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Government seeks to make Papua a sugar production center


Indonesia, a country with abundant natural wealth, continues to strive to strengthen the agricultural sector and boost domestic production. One of the ambitious steps being undertaken by the government is to build a sugar factory in Papua.

This plan was announced by the Indonesian Minister of Agriculture, Amran Sulaiman, who highlighted Papua’s great potential as a strategic sugar production center. The project is currently in the discussion stage with the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN), and if successful, could be an important milestone in agricultural development in Papua.

Minister of Agriculture Amran Sulaiman provided an overview of this plan. According to him, building a sugar factory in Papua is a very strategic step, considering the potential of this area for optimal sugar cane growth and the large amount of land available.

In a meeting at the Ministry of Agriculture, Amran explained that this project has a large strategic dimension and will make a significant contribution to efforts to meet domestic sugar needs.

However, building a sugar factory is not cheap. Minister Amran revealed that the investment value required to set up a sugar factory reaches around IDR 2.5 trillion to IDR 3 trillion.

This investment will support a sugar factory with a production capacity of around 8,000 to 12,000 tons of sugar cane per day (TCD). The plan is that this sugar factory will be built in an area belonging to the BUMN Food Holding, ID Food, which will make Papua the largest sugar production center in Indonesia.

However, the success of this project depends not only on government commitment, but also on the participation of private investors. Minister Amran said that the government is currently looking for potential investors who are willing to be involved in this project in Papua.

Several private parties have received offers to participate in the project, and Minister Amran emphasized that they will verify potential investors to ensure their seriousness and financial capacity.

Amran explained that currently he has carried out a verification process for interested private parties. The requirements are simple: have capital and readiness to get involved in development. Several parties have registered

Apart from the financial side, building a sugar factory also requires access to the latest technology which can increase production efficiency. In this context, Minister Amran hopes to establish cooperation with Brazil, which is known as one of the main players in the world sugar industry.

The factory that will be built will focus on sugar production instead of ethanol. According to Minister Amran, we used to fill sugar. When the price of sugar is high, we don’t make ethanol. When sugar prices are low, we make ethanol so that the factory always makes a profit.

The optimism radiated in Minister Amran’s words also pervades his view of the future of this project. He is optimistic that the sugar factory in Papua can start operating within the next 2 to 3 years.

The steps taken by the Indonesian government in building a sugar factory in Papua are also in line with the efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture which previously invited Brazil to invest in building a sugar factory and developing sugar cane fields in Indonesia.

This offer of cooperation emerged when the Brazilian Minister of Agriculture, Carlos Favaro, met with the Indonesian Minister of Agriculture, Amran Sulaiman, at the Ministry of Agriculture Office, on Monday (30/10/2023).

During the meeting, the Director General of Livestock and Animal Health (PKH), Nasrullah, who accompanied Minister Amran, explained that Brazil had plans to invest by transferring the latest technology for processing sugar cane into sugar and ethanol in Indonesia. Apart from that, Brazil also plans to transfer technology for developing superior seeds for sugar cane plantations in Indonesia.

So, what is the main need for Indonesia is superior technology owned by Brazil, which can be adopted and applied in Indonesia. This includes technology for sugar factories and ethanol production, and this will be an important part of cooperation between the two countries, as stated by Nasrullah.

The construction of a sugar factory in Papua is not just an effort to increase domestic sugar production. This is also a step that will have a positive impact on the regional economy, especially Papua.

Papua has great potential to contribute to sugar production, and with international cooperation, Indonesia can increase its production capacity and create job opportunities for the Papuan people.

However, as with any major development project, challenges will arise. The government must attract investor interest, preserve the environment, and ensure that the technology used is the best.

In this case, cooperation with Brazil in transferring technology is important to increase production efficiency and maintain quality standards. With seriousness and the right collaboration, the construction of a sugar factory in Papua could be an important milestone in improving Indonesia’s agricultural sector and economy.

Apart from increasing domestic sugar production, this project will also contribute to meeting sugar needs in the domestic market. Currently, Indonesia still imports a certain amount of sugar to meet domestic needs.

By building a sugar factory in Papua which has a large production capacity, it will help reduce dependence on sugar imports.

Apart from the positive impact on the agricultural and economic sectors, the construction of a sugar factory will also provide social benefits for the Papuan people. With increased sugar production, there will be increased employment opportunities for local residents, which will in turn improve their standard of living.

Apart from that, the construction of a sugar factory will bring about the development of supporting infrastructure, such as roads, transportation facilities and access to electricity which can help advance the region.

Apart from economic benefits, this project also has the potential to have a positive impact on the welfare of the Papuan people. Through the construction of a sugar factory, local people will have the opportunity to work and increase their income. This can help reduce the unemployment rate in the region and improve the standard of living of the Papuan population.

However, in an effort to build a sugar factory, it is necessary to pay attention to and maintain environmental sustainability. The sugar production process can have negative impacts on the environment, such as water pollution and unsustainable land use.

Therefore, there needs to be effective mitigation measures to minimize environmental impacts and ensure that sugar production is carried out sustainably.

Another challenge that must be faced is how to ensure efficient and transparent project management. Large and complex sugar factory construction projects require careful management and careful planning.

The government must ensure that the funds invested are used wisely and transparently, and that this project can run according to the predetermined schedule.

In facing these challenges, cooperation with Brazil in terms of technology transfer and experience in the sugar industry is the key to success. Brazil has long been a major player in the world sugar industry, and its experience and technology could be a valuable asset in building an efficient and sustainable sugar factory in Papua.

Apart from that, in efforts to build a sugar factory in Papua, it is necessary to ensure that the benefits of this project can be enjoyed by the local community. The Papuan people must be actively involved in this project, both as workers and as stakeholders.

The government must ensure that they have access to the job opportunities created and benefit from the construction of sugar factories.

In an effort to achieve this goal, there needs to be a strong commitment from all relevant parties, including the government, investors and local communities. Good cooperation between these parties will be the key to success in building a sugar factory in Papua.

In facing this challenge, there needs to be a strong commitment from all relevant parties to ensure that this project runs well and provides maximum benefits. With the right steps and good cooperation, the construction of a sugar factory in Papua could be an important milestone in the development of Indonesia’s agricultural and economic sectors.

All parties, including the government, investors and local communities, need to unite in supporting this effort to ensure that the plan becomes a reality and brings progress to Papua and Indonesia as a whole.

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