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A small province in Canada plans to assist Indonesia in its efforts to achieving self sufficiency in beef production by boost local beef production.
“We can be part of that. We can help. We have best breeding stock and beef genetics,” Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
Wall said he would send his agriculture minister to Jakarta soon to discuss further with Indonesian officials.
Indonesia has been struggling to reduce its dependence on Australian and New Zealand for beef for a long time.
Canada, one of the world’s leading beef-producing nations, is legally allowed to export beef to Indonesia. It has 83,000 cattle farms and ranches throughout the country and the beef industry contributes US$20 billion every year to the Canadian economy.
Canada has been supplying beef to Indonesia in small quantities as it is not allowed to export live cattle to Indonesia due to fears of mad cow disease.
“We don’t encounter a lot of trade barriers in Indonesia. We are grateful for that. We see a good opportunity in establishing cattle breeding centers in Indonesia,” Wall, a businessman turned politician, said.
Saskatchewan, one of Canada’s 10 provinces, is one of the country’s economic growth engines. It is the world’s largest potash producer, comprising 30 percent of global production, and 20 percent the world’s uranium comes from the province. It is one of the biggest exporters of lentils (50 percent of global exports), peas (55 percent globally) and black seeds (35 percent globally). The province also produces 450,000 barrels of oil per day.
Saskatchewan exported around $841.54 million worth of goods to Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, last year.
“We are [a province of] one million people, only 3 percent of Canada’s population, but almost 50 percent of Canada’s total exports to Indonesia come from Saskatchewan,” Wall said.
Based on Central Statistics Agency data, Canada exported $2.01 billion worth of goods to Indonesia in 2011 and imported $960.28 million in goods from the archipelagic nation.
Surprisingly, potash is Saskatchewan’s largest export to Indonesia, topping $605.06 million last year.
“Indonesia is Saskatchewan’s second-largest potash market globally, accounting for about 10 percent of our total potash exports, which were valued at C$6.4 billion [$6.55 billion] in 2011,” Wall said, adding Indonesia also bought C$120 million worth of wheat, C$94 million of wood pulp and C$10 million in peas from his province last year.