Gov’t Urged To Be Committed On Soybean Self-Sufficiency

Selasa, 04 Februari 2014 | 10:24

Indonesian Tofu and Tempeh Producers Cooperative (Kopti) of West Java urged the central and local government to be committed on soybean self-sufficiency.

Kopti Chairman of West Java Asep Nurdin said the Agriculture and Food Plant Service of West Java has the commitment in making land expansion for 100,000 hectare since last year.

“Sadly, it has never been realized. Up to this moment, we are still importing. The urge becomes a reaction over government’s failure in realizing soybean self-sufficiency,” he said, Sunday (2/2).

According to him, Indonesian Tofu and Tempeh Cooperative Association (Gakopti) plans to import 100,000 tons soybean from United States this year, although the import is still not sufficient to meet the need of national soybean along the year of 2.4 million tons.

From the import, the province may obtain allocation of 20,000 tons per year.

The supplying attempt from foreign purchase is the initial effort made by Kopti to suppress the high cost of soybean supply.

He admitted Kopti is ready to make soybean purchase from local farmers. However, the supply is not sufficient for there are not many farmers who plant it.

“They said, the Agriculture Service has failed to conduct seed bid. Thereby, the expansion of 100,000 hectare land area has not brought effect to soybean demand,” he said.

Meanwhile, the provincial government of West Java is targeting the expansion of soybean plant land area of 52% from 62,415 hectare in 2013 to 94,897 hectare.

Increase the Land

Head of Programming and Planning Division at the Agriculture and Food Plant Service (Diperta) of West Java Mochamad Ramdhani said the expansion target of soybean land area is aimed to boost soybean production.

“Overall, last year’s soybean production is still in the process of data collection. It is possible that the production target could not be reached due to the weather. The wet dry season would make the farmers tend to plant rice,” he said to Bisnis Indonesia.

With the increase on soybean land, the province may produce dry seed soybean of 146,789 tons per year, or 50% higher than the production target in 2013 of 97,448 tons.

The mechanism is performed by directing the farmers to plant on dry land and optimizing wasteland belongs to the community. In addition, there should be a usage on vacant lot owned by a forestry company (perhutani) that meets the regulation.

Furthermore, the planting land expansion is performed by increasing planting index from one time of harvest in a year into two times of harvest in a year. By doing this, the production and planting area calculation are expected to increase.

“Hopefully, the production target in 2014 could be achieved. The increase of soybean production is made based on soybean self-sufficiency for West Java although the province still could not supply it to other regions,” he said.

Currently, the soybean agriculture centers in West Java are dominated by Indramayu, Sukabumi, and Garut, as well as other improving regions such as Sumedang, Cianjur, Majalengka, and Ciamis.

Even, the tofu producers in Sumedang have invested their capital to soybean farmers in Indramayu. They cooperate in providing soybean supply for tofu and tempeh business.

According to him, the cooperation should get appreciation from the government for it could strengthen local food sustainability in particular with soybean.

“The soybean agriculture technical aspect should be thoroughly considered. Soybean should obtain special treatment in order to have excellent result,” he said.

Head of Agriculture, Livestock, and Plantation Division at the Secretariat of Instruction Coordinating Board (Bakorluh) of West Java Eti Mulyati explained soybean agriculture is not the board’s priority since it is not a primary food.

According to her, soybean is only a substitute plant that it makes difficult to transfer the knowledge to the soybean farmers in West Java.

Yet, the cost of goods sold (HPP) of soybean which is determined by the government is expected to draw the farmers’ interest to plant more soybean.

“The counseling increases farmers’ interest, provides assistance and guidance so that the farmers could perform the recommended technology,” she said. (k6/k29/k32)

by JIBI, Renat Sofie Andriani