Pekanbaru, Riau (Antarariau.com) - Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman has encouraged the Riau administration to corner the organic commodities export market in Southeast Asia.
"We have encouraged the authorities to export organic commodities to neighboring countries. Singapore has a 5 million population and Malaysia has a 30 million population," Andi told Antara on the sidelines of his working visit to the Pelalawan district, Riau Province, on Friday.
The minister was accompanied by Riau Governor Arsyadjuliandi Rachman and Bukit Barisan Military Regional Commander, Major General Lodewyk Pusung.
"It is interesting that it takes only one hour from Pelalawan district to reach Malaysia or Singapore," the minister added.
Such a favorable geographical condition stands to benefit the region, especially when it comes to developing organic agriculture, Andi noted, adding that the government plans to develop organic agriculture in Pelalawan to meet the demand from Malaysia and Singapore.
"They (Malaysia and Singapore) are importing (organic commodities) from Vietnam and Pakistan to the extent of some 1.5 million tons per year. This is our market, and we have to capture it," he stressed.
Therefore, the government has set a target to develop the agriculture sector in Pelalawan within three years, and provided budget as well as equipment to the province s administration.