The minister said here on Sunday that the growth in the number of national sugar mills was very low so that the country's sugar production was also low.
"I hope there would be about 20 to 25 new sugar mills. But in the past four years, we can find only one new sugar factory," the minister said when explaining the results of his visit to PT Gendhis Melti Manis (GMM) sugar mill in Blora, Central Java on Saturday.
The minister also visited a newly built sugar factory in Grobogan, Central Java.
He said that the construction of new sugar mills would absorb new workers and constituted an effort to make a new investment.
"I hope business players will realize the need to develop sugar mills that can provide jobs to 30 thousand people. Business makers should not only become traders, importing sugar and sell it to the domestic market," the minister added.
He explained that the construction of a new sugar mill would need an investment of Rp1.7 trillion per unit.
Besides additional factories, the minister said that the area of sugar cane plantations should also be extended. According to Suswono, the government has a target to expand sugar can plantations by 350 hectares but it has not yet been carried out. (*/DWA)