Thursday, 30 July, 2009
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The Malaysian Agriculture and Agricultural Industry Minister, Dato' Noh Bin Haji Omar, is visiting South Sulawesi today (30/7) and meeting the governor Syahrul Yasin Limpo.
The visit is to follow up the earlier visit of Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Tun Rajak who said he considered South Sulawesi as an area with agricultural potential.
The commodities to be imported from South Sulawesi include rice, maize, seaweed, and cattle. “We will prioritize importing products from South Sulawesi,” said Omar.
Omar explained that up until now Malaysia is still importing 600,000 tons of rice every year from Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
Malaysia now will import rice from South Sulawesi, Indonesia, as the rice supply here is overstocked and there is a significant surplus.Malaysia will import corn for animal food. “We may build the factory here and do the finishing in Malaysia, “said Omar.
Malaysia is also interested in importing seaweed from South Sulawesi as Indonesia’s largest seaweed production is in South Sulawesi.
Regarding cattle, Malaysia has been importing live cattle from Australia and New Zaeland, as well as meat from India.
The governor, Syahrul, agrees with this plan. “These four commodities are ready,” he said.
The rice supply in South Sulawesi has been in surplus, amounting to 2.5 million tons per year, and the corn surplus 1.5 million tons per year.South Sulawesi has already obtained permission to export 100,000 tons of rice. However, it is still awaiting permission to export cattle.