Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan said Indonesia can become the biggest coffee producer in Southeast Asia because it has spacious land for developing its coffee plantations.
"The government will continue to increase coffee production in the country so that Indonesia will become the biggest coffee producer in Southeast Asia," the trade minister said here on Tuesday.
He said that Indonesia`s coffee production now stood at 600 thousand tons per annum. It should continue to be increased so that Indonesia would become number one coffee producing country in Southeast Asia.
"To become number one producer, production from the upstream and downstream must be increased. The farmers should also continue to be inspired to increase their spirit and production," the minister said.
He said that one of the several factors that could be taken to increase production was utilizing available spacious land in Indonesia.
"Apart from utilizing land, Indonesia should also prepare appropriate technology," the minister added.
However, the minister said, all of it should be accompanied with tight disciplines from stakeholders. With high disciplines the objectives could be achieved.
In the meantime, chairman of the Indonesian Coffee Exporters Association (Gaeki), Hutama Sugandhi, said that of the world`s ten best coffee varieties, five were found in Indonesia.
"Indonesia`s coffee varieties which are included in the best quality included the Java coffee and the Toraja coffee, which are now well-known in the world," he said.
He said that Indonesia`s coffee productivity now was still low, namely about 700 to 800 kg per hectare with a total plantation acreage of 1.1 million hectares.
"Indonesia is still behind Vietnam which has a plantation acreage of 550 thousand hectares, yet it is able to produce three tons of coffee per hectare," he said.
He said that Indonesia`s coffee production was small due to capital constraint of the lack of government`s attention.
"The government now pays more attention to oil palm farmers than coffee farmers," he said.