The government on Sunday launched a "Love Indonesian Fruits" campaign to increase local fruit consumption. State Enterprises Minister Mustafa Abubakar, Agriculture Minister Suswono and Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB) rector Herry Suhardiyanto cut through miniature durian at Senayan Timur parking lot here to mark the launch of the campaign. Suswono said the campaign was expected to encourage the people to consume more local fruits which were not inferior to imported fruits. "Through this movement we want the Indonesian people to become increasingly fonder of local fruits amidst the glut of imported fruits. This movement will also be supported by follow-up steps by among others improving the quality of local fruits and shortening fruit production and trade chains. By doing so, fruit growers can make profit and consumers can buy local fruits at affordable prices," he said. The one-year campaign calls for the government to declare Friday as national fruit day and asks state institutes, government agencies, food and beverage industries, hotels and retailers to encourage local fruit consumption. The campaign is also aimed at encouraging the application of Indonesian National Standard (SNI) to Indonesian fruits, the application of quality standard to imported fruits, and the imposition of higher duties on imported fruits to protect local fruits against the onslaught of imported fruits. In addition, it was also meant to encourage the government to improve a fruit trading system and production infrastructures and fruit trading, he said. The campaign would also encourage the emergence of new local fruit growers and traders through a number of programs. The activity supported by IPB alumni would also encourage the development of fruit gardens registered at the Directorate General of Horticulture at the Agriculture Ministry. To date there are 2,000 fruit gardens registered at the ministry. They have all applied good agriculture practices. Source: Antara News

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