The irony of Indonesia, the country of Tempe, the majority of soybeans are imports

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia is a country with consumption soy largest in the world after China. This is natural, considering that soybeans are used as raw material for tempe and Tofu, two foods that are very common to the people of the country.

The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) noted, import Indonesian soybeans during the first semester of 2020 reached 1.27 million tons or worth 510.2 million US dollars or around Rp 7.52 trillion (exchange rate of Rp 14,700). A total of 1.14 million tonnes of which came from the US.

Cooperative Association Joint Data TofuTempe Indonesia (Gakoptindo), apart from United States of America, soybeans supplied to tofu and tempeh entrepreneurs are imported from Canada, Brazil and Uruguay.

Quoted from Kompas Daily, Over the past ten years, the volume of imported soybeans has reached 2-7 times that of local soybean production, mostly from the United States.

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Apart from productivity problems, the selling price factor at the farm level is considered to have a major influence on local soybean development. Because they are considered unprofitable, farmers choose to plant other commodities.

Therefore, in addition to boosting productivity, downstream policies must be in line so that soybean cultivation is more economical.

Professor of Food, Nutrition and Health of IPB University and Chairman of the Indonesian Tempe Forum Made Astawan said that soybean productivity in Indonesia is around half of soybean productivity in the US.

“In addition, the profit per hectare at the farm level is still smaller than that of corn or rice. As a result, farmers prioritize their land for planting corn and rice,” Made said.

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Made added, soybean productivity in Indonesia ranges from 1.5 to 2 tons per hectare, while productivity in the US reaches 4 tons per hectare.

Productivity in the US is higher because soybean plants get around 16 hours of sunlight, while in Indonesia it is around 12 hours.

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