The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has urged people to participate in a movement to boost local fruit consumption to lower import needs.
Jokowi made the remarks while officiating the opening of the Archipelago Fruit and Flower Festival in Bogor on Saturday.
"We must boost production and at the same time, there must be campaign to consume local fruits. It takes a revolutionary movement to increase the production and quality of local fruit and flowers," he said in a press statement.
Jokowi said that the promotion must start with educating the youth on locally grown fruits, which would gradually increase the consumption of fruit in households.
Such a movement would not only beneficial for people's health but fruit growers as well.
Jokowi said in his speech that when visiting Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, he went to a hypermarket with more than 180 chains across the globe.
He was impressed that the fruits from Indonesia were nicely packaged and priced competitively. They were also put on displays which he said, escalated the image of Indonesia's fruits.
The hypermarket sold mangoes from Cirebon, pineapple from Lampung, watermelon from Sragen, papaya from Boyolali and mangoosteen from West Java.
"Imported goods must be replaced with domestic products to improve our trade balance," he said as quoted by kompas.com.
In order to reach the goal, Jokowi asked district chiefs to prepare five to 50 hectares of land in every district to produce fruit and flowers to meet the domestic demand. The government also asked state-owned plantation company PTPN to start considering the fruit business and to prepare 10,000 hectares of land to produce fruits.
"We have always planted rubber, coffee, palm and tea, but no one really thought about fruits," he said.
At the event, Jokowi also called on the Bogor Institute of Agriculture to hold bigger fruit and flowers festivals to attract international buyers next year. (rin)
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