VP says Sumatra should revive as "gum island"
Jambi (Antara News
) - Known in the past as "gum/rubber island", Sumatra should revive to regain its glorious time, Vice President Jusuf Kalla said here on Wednesday.
"When the people in Jakarta were panic amid the exorbitant prices of fuel oil, the farmers in Sumatra island, especially in Jambi province, could smile because of rubber price hikes reaching Rp10,000 per kg," Kalla said when launching a Rubber Rejuvenation Program in Sebapo village, Muaro Jambi district, about 18 km from here.
On the occasion, the vice president was accompanied by Agriculture Minister Anton Apriyantono, Industry Minister Fahmi Idris, and Jambi Governor Zulkifli Nurdin.
Kalla said that to regain the glorious time in Jambi, the local rubber farmers should work even harder than ever and be thankful for God`s blessings.
"As Indonesian people, we have to be thankful for what the Almighty God has given to our country," the vice president said, adding that since rubber commodity in Jambi had a bright future, in the next four or five years its price would probably reach Rp20,000 per kg.
Kalla noted that rubber had a bright future because many products in the world also used rubber as raw material.
"Thailand and Malaysia are the world`s largest rubber producing countries. Therefore, Indonesia should not feel inferior to the two countries in developing its rubber," Kalla noted.
He said Indonesia was also able to develop its rubber it had a lot of agriculturalists.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Anton Apriyantono said Indonesia at present meets 26 percent of the world`s rubber demand and in the past six years Indonesia`s rubber exports rose by 2 percent, or 1.8 million tons. (*)