The head of the Corn Information Center Agency (BPIJ) in Gorontalo, Muljady Mario, said on Thursday that the province would start exporting corn at the end of April.
“Gorontalo corn farmers have just harvested their crops so we expect that corn export activities will resume at the end of April,” he said.
Muljady said that the suspension in corn exports in Gorontalo during the period of January-February was not due to a poor harvest in the region.
Export activities in Gorontalo are currently supported by three big companies – PT Duta Sera, PT Harim, and PT Miwon – as well as nine local companies.
Previously, head of the Gorontalo branch of the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) Ihsanurijal said that no export activities, including of corn, had taken place in the province during the period of January-February.
Gorontalo, the country’s youngest province nicknamed “agropolitan” due to its huge agriculture potential, exported US$1.69 million worth of corn in January-February 2012. Most of it was exported to Taiwan and the Philippines.
Gorontalo province exported $7.64 million worth of corn commodities in 2010, making it the peak year for corn exports during the period of 2009-2013.
The province’s corn exports drastically dropped to $2.23 million in 2011 before they increased to $7.18 million in the following year.
Muljady said Gorontalo had a potential 200,000 hectares available for corn production. However, local farmers’ traditional cultivation patterns that heavily depend on the climate posed challenges to achieving optimal yields. (ebf)