The Jakarta Post
The government is planning to grow macadamia trees around Lake Toba in North Sumatra to reforest deprived areas and restore biodiversity in one of the country’s most famous tourist destinations.
Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution said recently that the plant could be the solution to mitigating the effects of natural disasters in the area, such as landslides, floods and drought. Macadamia nuts are also considered to have a high economic value and could therefore contribute to the welfare of the local community.
“By the time the macadamia trees are five years old, the farmers can harvest the expensive and richly flavored nuts,” Darmin said in Hutaginjang village, North Tapanuli regency, North Sumatra, on Thursday.
He said the plant was already being cultivated elsewhere in Indonesia, including Rembang in Central Java, Bondowoso in East Java, and Solok in West Sumatra.
“Our task now is to make locals aware of the tree’s benefits to the environment as well other potential benefits,” Darmin said.
Macadamia trees, native to Australia, start producing nuts at the age of five, with 12 to 25 kilograms of fruit produced per year.
The trees, measuring 40 meters in height, are commonly found in northeastern New South Wales and central and southeastern Queensland.
According to North Sumatra Governor Edy Rahmayadi, who also attended the launch, there were 1.3 million hectares of "critical land" in the province. (vny)