Thursday, April 14, 2016


Jakarta, April 14, 2016 (Antara) - The Indonesian government is currently working on creating a roadmap for developing the seaweed processing industry.
           The roadmap, which is being drafted under the supervision of the coordinating minister for economic affairs and to be included in a presidential regulation, will set a production target, development direction, and a plan of action to realize the target of seaweed cultivation.
          "The industry ministry cannot alone carry out the development of the seaweed industry, and therefore, the work is being coordinated by the coordinating ministry for economic affairs," Abdul Rochim, the food, seafood product and fishery industry director of the industry ministry, noted recently.
           Indonesia is a major supplier of dried seaweed in the world, with a total production of 237.8 thousand tons, or 56 percent of the world's seaweed production reaching 424 thousand tons.
           Indonesia exports 152.9 thousand tons, or 64.3 percent of its total dried seaweed production, to China, Malaysia, and Singapore, among others.
           Seaweed production is an integral part of the Indonesian blue economy initiative and fisheries industrialization program.

           There are some 550 species of seaweed found locally, which constitute almost 50 percent of all global seaweed varieties.
           Seaweed, as a raw material, can be used to produce 500 derivative products, he pointed out.  
      The commercial varieties of seaweed found in Indonesia include alginate, carrageenan, and gelatin.
           The commodity can be processed into final products such as food, medicines, cosmetics, and tissue. Carrageenan can be used to produce food items, sauces, fodder, and medicines. Alginate can be processed into food items, sauces, textiles, cosmetics, and medicines.
           Industry Minister Saleh Husin had recently stated that his ministry will push for the development of the downstream seaweed industry to gain more added value.
           The country's seaweed demand, totaling 128.6 thousand tons, is still short of 43.8 thousand tons.
           Director Abdul Rochim has invited China, the largest importer of Indonesia's seaweed, to invest in the construction of a seaweed processing plant in Indonesia.
           He noted that 70 percent of Indonesia's seaweed exports went to China, which processes them into carrageenan. Malaysia and Singapore are the second- and third-largest importers of Indonesian seaweed.
           China's seaweed import contracts from Indonesia are valued at US$58 million. 
      Three Chinese seaweed importers --- Green Fresh Foodstuff Co. Ltd, Xiamen DSC Import & Export Co. Ltd, and Fujian Province LVQI Food Colloid Co. Ltd --- signed import contracts worth $24.6 million with PT Phoenix Jaya.
           Shanghai Brilliant Gum Co. Ltd signed a seaweed purchase contract worth $24 million with PT Rika Rayhan Mandiri.
           Singapore's Gills & Fins Pte. Ltd signed a contract worth $500 thousand with PT Jaringan Sumber Daya for the purchase of seaweed.
           In the meantime, the Marine and Fisheries Ministry recently announced that it will set aside Rp18 billion to finance the construction of a seaweed processing plant in Bombana District, Southeast Sulawesi, this year.
           "The factory would be built in the village of Laeya in the sub-district of Poleang Selatan, some 65-70 kilometers south of the capital city of Bombana," Sarif, head of the Bombana marine and fisheries service, stated.
           Sarif noted that the construction of the first seaweed factory in the regency of Bombana indicated the government's commitment to developing the sea fishery sector.
           Bombana produces around 4.5 thousand to five thousand tons of seaweed during every harvest period.
           The seaweed production centers in the district are located in the sub-districts of Poleang Selatan, Kabaena Barat, Kabaena Selatan, Kabaena Tengah, Kabaena Timur, Poleang Tenggra, Masalaka Raya, Mataoleo, and Rumbia.  
      West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) is one of Indonesia's largest seaweed-producing provinces.
           The Eucheuma cottoni type of seaweed has been widely cultivated in NTB and has contributed to improving the local economy, especially of the coastal communities.
           NTB's production of wet seaweed totaled 918,021 tons in 2015, up from 770,374 tons in the previous year.
           NTB's seaweed production target for 2018 has been set at one million tons worth Rp two thousand billion and will provide jobs to 37 thousand workers.
           The regional marine and fisheries service has included NTB in the national seaweed roadmap and is expected to serve as a reference for the development of the seaweed processing industry.
           NTB has been recommended to be developed as one of the major seaweed producing regions in the country as its production has continued to increase over the years. 
      Furthermore, President Joko Widodo had recently ordered Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti to boost the development of the seaweed industry.
           In line with the policy, Minister Susi has increased the budget allocated for seaweed cultivation to $330 billion in 2016, or eight folds higher than the earlier budgeted amount.
           The budget funds will be used to build warehouses and factories, as well as to distribute good-quality seeds and to increase seaweed production.
 14-04-2016 19:42:34

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