October 20, 2003
Indonesia Head Towards Goal of Soybean Self-Sufficiency in 2005
Indonesia is ready to head towards its goal for soybean self-sufficiency in 2005 following the signing of a partnership agreement between a number of private companies and soybean growers under the aegis of the Industry and Trade Ministry.
"Hopefully, we will become self-sufficient in soybean by 2005 given the partnership between soybean farmers and private companies," Industry and Trade Minister Rini MS Soewandi said. Under the partnership, the farmers would grow soybean on 175 ha of land in Kerawang district, West Java, in the first stage.
She further added that as the owners of soybean farms, the farmers deserve to receive technological guidance and quality control courses.
"By doing so, the farmers will be able to produce soybean which accords with the industries' needs, thereby reducing the country's soybean imports," she said.
The private companies are PT Pertani, PT Sangyang Seri, PT Pusri, PT Petrokimia, PT Pupuk Kujang, PT Perusahaan Perdagangan Indonesia, PT Bhanda Graha Reksa and PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia.
These companies are held responsible for improving the quality of soybean and ensuring soybean supplies from the farmers.
The minister expressed hope the partnership would create more jobs while at the same time strengthening soybean-based industries.
Indonesia's soybean imports tended to increase over the past few years despite the fact that Indonesia had a vast area of land for soybean cultivation, she said.
In 2002, soybean imports were 1.14 million tons about the same as a year earlier. Compared to 1998, the figure increased threefold.
In 2002 alone, soybean-based industries' demand for the commodity reached 1.81 million. "This condition implies that the cultivation of soybean as raw materials for industries needs to be increased," she said.