Director General for Agro-Industry in Industry Ministry, Ir. Panggah Susanto, MM, has officiated the Centre for Cocoa Development in Batang, Central Java, on Tuesday (15/8). The factory that is built in the UGM cocoa plantation managed by PT Pagilaran company spans as wide as 208 hectares. It is built to utilise the potential of cocoa in Indonesia as well as responding to domestic and global market demands.
“The potential of our commodities is immense but it has not yet materialised into economic driving force, so let’s do this through this project,” said Panggah prior to the ground breaking of the factory construction,
Panggah said the cooperation between Industry Ministry and UGM started from the visit by UGM Rector to the Minister.The Ministry later approved the proposal for cocoa industry development submitted by UGM as this was believed to be able to benefit the national interest.
“We believe in the experience and commitment of PT Pagilaran to manage this factory,” he said.
Regent of Batang, H. Wihaji, S.Ag., M.Pd., that was present at the event welcomed the cooperation as a form to reach the regional target of development in job creation and generating 1000 new entrepreneurs.
“We hope there will be good cooperation that will benefit not just research, but also the society,” he said.
Director of PT Pagilaran, Dr. Ir. Rachmad Dunadi, M.Si., said the industry construction design had emerged to respond to problems affecting cocoa farmers related to the market cocoa price.
“Farmers have often meet barriers in the market. So, if we can awaken the primary industry that is managed integratedly, the price of raw material will no longer haunt the farmers,” he said.
Rachmad added the factory would produce cocoa products such as cocoa butter. Hopefully, this will raise the interest of the farmers to grow cocoa as before. He said the company would be the main buyers of the cocoa grains from the farmers.
In the same place, Rector of UGM for Cooperation and Alumni, Dr. Paripurna, S.H., LL.M., said this was a form of pentahelix cooperation targeted by UGM to downstreaming research into social innovation.
After the ground breaking, signing of tripartite cooperation agreement was done between UGM, Industry Ministry and Batang regency. This is expected to open the ways for strategic cooperations that have been initiated at the Centre for Cocoa Industry as model of development of other centres for agribusiness industry.