State Minister of State Owned Enterprises Dahlan Iskan has instructed state-owned forest management companies Perum Perhutani and PT Inhutani to set up sago processing facility in Papua.
Dahlan said that Papua has plenty of sago plants, but so far no processing facility to better produce sago as food product. Sago is the main staple food of people in Papua.
He said on Wednesday that investment for the sago processing facility would not be so expensive, estimated only at about Rp 50 billion. He added that the cooperation between the two forest management firms in the Papu sago project could pave the way for the possibility of merging the two companies in the future.
Dahlan explained that any surplus of sago production in Papua could be shipped out to consumers in other parts of the country particularly Java. This way, it would help resolve the problem of vessels suffering from the problem empty when returning to Java from Papua. “The problem of empty cargo has made shipping cost to Papua very high,” he said.
He said that the idea to set up a sago processing facility in Papua came from the provincial chapter of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry during a recent meeting with Vice President Boediono. (rei)