Coconut farmers in North Maluku are encouraged to develop horticulture crops as an alternative source of income to meet their daily needs when copra prices plummet.
“Horticulture plants, especially vegetables, can be produced after one month or two months are planted, so if the price of copra drops as it is now, farmers can get income from the sale of crop production,” said Head of North Maluku Industry and Trade Asrul Gailea Ternate, on Friday, as reported by Antara.
Coconut farmers can use coconut plantation as a location to develop horticulture plants, which can increase their fertility by utilizing various natural fertilizers around them.
According to him, the development of horticulture in North Sumatra, especially vegetables, has good prospects because to meet the needs in a number of areas such as Ternate City, most of them still have to be imported from outside North Maluku, such as North Sulawesi.
For this reason, coconut farmers in North Sumatra do not need to worry about the difficulty of marketing their production if they develop vegetables and other horticultural crops, especially chili and tomatoes because the needs in North Maluku are very large.
The North Sumatra Disperindag, Asrul Gailea said, had prepared trucks in a number of districts / cities in North Sumatra, such as North Halmahera and West Halmahera to transport the commodities produced by farmers to the marketing area.
Disperindag has also built a storage warehouse for agricultural commodities in Sofifi, which traders and farmers can use to collect agricultural commodities before they are distributed to the market.
He added, North Maluku Disperindag now continues efforts to overcome the drop in copra prices in North Maluku, including continuing to lobby the copra processing industry in North Sulawesi and East Java to buy North Maluku copra at higher prices.
In addition, the program provides subsidies for copra transport from farmers to marketing purposes, so that traders and North Maluku copra entrepreneurs can buy copra at the farm level with higher prices, because they are no longer burdened with transportation costs.