MAMUJU, W SULAWESI - Indonesia is determined to become the world`s largest seaweed producer with production expected to reach 10 million tons in 2012, a minister said.
"The Indonesian government is determined to produce up to 10 million tons of seaweed by 2012 so it will become the world`s largest seaweed producer," Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Fadel Muhammad said here on Friday.
Fadel said before he became a minister the Philippines which produced 2.5 million tons of seaweed once claimed to be the world`s largest seaweed producer, leaving Indonesia behind with 2 million tons.
He said at the start of 2011 Indonesia`s seaweed production reached 3 million tons, little bit higher than the Philippines`.
"We have begun leaving the Philippines behind. Their seaweed production is lower than ours thanks to our endeavor to develop seaweed," he said.
He said the Indonesian government was determined to raise seaweed production to up to 5 million tons this year, or twice as much as the Philippines`.
The figure was expected to hit a record high of 10 million in 2012, making Indonesia unbeatable seaweed producer in the world, he said.
He said Indonesian seaweed had the best quality in the world.
"The World Bank has recognized that our seaweed has the best quality in the world. The seaweed comes from Sulawesi, particularly West Sulawesi so that its production must be boosted," he said.
Seaweed was in great demand in the United States, China and Germany, he said.