Saturday January 2nd, 2016
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo opened the largest sago plant in Indonesia on Friday. The plant will be operated by state-owned forestry firm Perum Perhutani and the plant could boost sago production for domestic needs and exports.
The plant, located in Kais, West Papua, officially started its operations on Jan 1, Antara news agency reported on Friday.
Perum Perhutani president director Mustoha Iskandar said that Papua had considerable potential for natural sago production. Good quality Papuan sago raja could produce 900 kilograms of sago from one branch, he said.
The plant’s construction cost Rp 150 billion. The plant will hire 40 local workers to work in the factory and around 600 people to supply the sago logs.
The company expects the plant to accrue Rp 100 billion in income per year. It is hoped that the plant will boost the local economy.
The processed sago from the plant will be distributed by Perhutani to Papua, Jakarta, Cirebon, Semarang, Surabaya and Medan.
Meanwhile, Mustoha said that the firm also aimed to export sago products to Japan, Korea, Thailand and China.
Jokowi expressed the hope that the plant would benefit the surrounding area and improve the local economy.
The firm will pay Rp 9,000 per log to local people who supply to the sago plant.
In this way, Kais locals will no longer have to send their products to the Sorong market in Sorong, West Papua. The journey to Sorong could often take up to a week on a paddle boat.
Gunarto, project chief of the management unit at Perum Perhutani, told kompas.com on Thursday that the plant stands on five hectares of land while the sago tree forest stands in a 16,000 hectare concession, making it the biggest in the country.
He explained that the construction of the plant started in 2013. In the beginning of operations in January, the plant will only operate at 50 percent capacity.
“We will have a full production rate in 2017,” he said as quoted by kompas.com.
The factory will produce 100 tons sago per day and is expected to produce 30,000 tons of sago products within one year.